How About Obvious Labeling Of Sponsored Content For All Of TV?

What if every time a Toyota car appeared in a USA Network drama show, there was an immediate on-air banner that said “sponsored content”?

Consumers are getting used to seeing these kind of labels on digital/online content -- though not everywhere, or with consistency. For example, the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that only 41% of consumers said native ads on a general news sites were clearly identified. Analysts have said there are varying levels of labeling for native advertising/marketer-supplied content.

But on TV, there’s rarely any labeling. At best it can buried amid end-of-show credits.  I’d change this, in keeping with where digital content has already been moving.

TV should make it obvious -- right at the point of impact, on the big screen where there is nowhere else a viewer can look. Labeling of “sponsored” content would appear when contestants on “The Voice” are pulling up in Nissans; or when “Modern Family” does an entire episode around its characters using their Apple iPhones to communicate.



All this would dramatically change the way branded content/product placement is handled, replacing such end-of-show messages as “promotional considerations brought to you by...” or other phrases. That’s not enough.

Some would say this would take away those times when executives use the word “organic” for product placement Trouble is, when all that marketing money is involved, it’s never “organic” to begin with.

But you say that this on-screen labeling would disrupt a drama, comedy, reality show, news or sporting event -- and that TV viewers would be upset?

Oh, yes. Exactly.

2 comments about "How About Obvious Labeling Of Sponsored Content For All Of TV?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 16, 2015 at 4:03 p.m.

    I realize that you are poking fun at the "product placement" system, Wayne, and we know that what you propose won't happen. But if it did----the likely solution would be an announcement and the end of each telecast listing the "product placement sponsors" for that evening's telecast. In "TV Dimensions 2015" we estimate that advertiserd paid about $3.7 billion dollars last year for TV show product placements; in addition there many other cases where there is no payment and the product is provided free of charge so long as it is used and/or clearly displayed---such as cars driven by police detectives chasing down evildoers or posh hotel settings where some of the "action" is shot.

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, June 16, 2015 at 7:22 p.m.

    Game shows used to do it at the end of the show. Prizes have been awarded and paid by ___ . Haven't watched a game show in years so I am not sure that still happens. As for cars, every car has a make and model - no generic cars. 

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