|LETTERS FROM LONDON
Shock. Horror. The horrible Nestle Corporation, owner of Nescafe, the brand known
for real horror of horrors – instant coffee - has made a £100,000 deal to be the first
to promote product placement on British TV. The government has cunningly changed
the rules yet again; not in our favour yet again.
ITV’s This Morning programme has agreed to place a coffee machine on the
counter for their cookery slots. How they will work in the joys of coffee preparation
while knocking together a lasagne for four isn’t clear. Perhaps every guest will be
forced to hold a mug emboldened with the brand name.
Nestle reckons it is the perfect time “to connect with sociable people who appreciate
good coffee.” Nestle is anxious to introduce this new concept to other commercial
channels as soon as possible. I’m switching to green coffee bean extract capsules
and hoping to become agoraphobic.
ITV wanted to continue its ground-breaking innovations. It was the first to screen a
UK commercial in 1955. They should be so proud.
As of today – don’t count on it tomorrow – no products on children’s, religious or
news programmes. A ‘P’ in the right corner will warn viewers at the start of the
programme. But seriously. Isn’t it a game: find the 32 products in less than 20
Funnily I have noticed innumerable highly suspect objects in clear view for years. Do
they think we can’t read?
BBC has taken the moral high ground by swearing on their padded expense
accounts that they do no product placement. The only problem is that I’ve been to the
EastEnders set and walked through the product placement warehouses. Oops.
A month or so ago, there was a cocoa-covered-sugar-packed-nutritiously-pointless
breakfast cereal on the kitchen table where Bianca & family filled their bowls to
overflowing with the bad stuff. The box covered half the television screen and was 4
times the size of Tiff’s head. It had its own chair at the table. It was included in the
conversation. BBC was worried it would be subliminal.
Dogs guzzling vitamin water, babies with Coke filled bottles, grannies with ‘you’re
worth it’ hair dyed extensions, tooth whitened criminals. The possibilities are infinite.
If products weren’t annoying enough – and they truly are - now we will have to sit
through twice as many commercials. If all goes to plan, we can expect to watch 5
minutes of programming with 7 minutes of ads just like America – the standard of
excellence in broadcasting.
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|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL