That old—if anachronistic—David Ogilvy quotation, “The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife,” came to mind with yesterday’s ruling by the Federal Trade Commission that product placement in programming does not have to be disclosed. While product placement (such as Coke, in Fox’s American Idol, pictured here) was probably not what Ogilvy had in mind when he said that back in the 1950s, these days the quote could just as well apply to the whole issue. Seems to us that most people don’t have to be forewarned, every time a product appears in programming, that the placement might have been paid for.
The issue was brought before the FTC by advocacy group Commercial Alert. Advocacy groups are part of what makes this country so upliftingly litigious, but we don’t exactly get Commercial Alert’s claim that product placement “could be implicated in diseases such as obesity and diabetes in children.” Huh?
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor