In order to augment revenues, some networks and studios are working with advertisers and including products or what amount to product endorsements into the actual content of programs. So-called 'product integration' forces content creators to become ad writers.
As a result of years of lobbying and pressure from the WGAW, the Federal Communications Commission recently announced a process to develop rules for disclosure when products are integrated into content.
||The growing use of product integration in television and some of the worst examples of product integration. Watch video
Product Integration Facts:
In July the Federal Communications Commission announced that they are considering new rules that would require networks to disclose to viewers when products have been integrated into programming. The WGAW has held that the only foolproof way to make sure that viewers are aware that they are being advertised to is to tell them, during the program, by running a crawl whenever an integrated product is mentioned/referenced or exhibited. To learn more about the WGAW’s position: read our filing to the FCC.
Read the 2005 White Paper from the Writers Guild of America, titled “Are you SELLING to me?” (.pdf)
Read the letter from WGAW President Patric Verrone to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (.pdf)
Listen to what our members have to say about product integration.
On September 20, 2007, Writers Guild of America, West President Patric M. Verrone testified before the Federal Communications Commission asking them to consider adopting a rule requiring networks to clearly disclose to viewers when advertisers have paid to insert branded advertising and other forms of product integration into television programs.
Read Verrone's hearing testimony (.pdf)
In May 2007, WGAW member Phil Rosenthal testified before the House Commerce Committee on behalf of the WGAW and SAG on the proliferation of product integration.
Phil Rosenthal -- Everybody Loves Raymond (1.4MB)
Read the written statement (.pdf)
Against the backdrop of the 2006 network upfronts, the WGAW hosted a press conference at New York’s Le Parker Meridien Hotel, featuring a line-up of top TV showrunners examining the rise of product integration on television.
Patric M. Verrone -- President of Writers Guild of America, west (1.4MB)
Neal Baer -- Law & Order: SVU (1.1MB)
David Rupel -- The Real Housewives of Orange County (2MB)
John Wells -- The West Wing and ER (3.4MB)
Marc Cherry -- Desperate Housewives (2.3MB)
To view on a PC, download Quicktime.
WGA blasts hidden integration [Hollywood Reporter, 6/25/08]
Product Placements Acquire a Life of Their Own on Shows [NY Times, 7/14/08]
Product Placements Get FCC Scrutiny [Wall Street Journal ]
1 PQ Media. “Global Product Placement Forecast 2006.” August 2006.