American Express Sponsorship of a Pilot TV Script Has Its Privileges

At this morning’s National TV Summit hosted by ThinkLA, Rick Rosen, the head of television for William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, leapfrogged right over the concept of product placement and hinted at a brand new kind of content co-opting.

Via Media Post:

Rosen says one of his clients, American Express, along with Sony, financed a pilot written by two writers. The payoff for the marketers, he says, was in the “values” that went into the initial show – not blatant product placement. “You won’t see anyone paying for a meal with an American Express card,” he said. Rosen didn’t reveal any specifics about the show.

Separately, Rosen talked about how much the current Nielsen TV ratings system fails to properly capture information about the way programs are being additionally time-shifted and streamed on DVRs, iPads and the like. “We [actors, producers] are not being paid for who is viewing these shows,” he suggested.

From Rosen’s Amex pilot model to the TV-Internet tandem ad packages now being sold for Gossip Girl, one thing is clear. Madison Avenue will always figure out a way.