TV networks now argue there should be no additional federal regulations for identifying product placements -- like extra visual messages at the time of their appearance.
I've got a suggestion for the networks. They'd have a better case if they got rid of identifying messages that already exist during current TV shows.
For example: How about getting rid of the swipes, crawls, and other partially viewed video promotional garbage that appears -- and regularly interrupts -- TV shows, usually on the lower quarter of the screen? The networks can't have it both ways.
If product placement and branded entertainment deals are here to stay, networks can't argue that interrupting the context of a show with product placement identification is hurtful -- especially when they do it all the time.
Not only do networks advertise their own shows during their own shows, but, in specific cases, will give a TV marketer -- also, no doubt, a regular network commercial advertiser-- a piece of that promotional swipe.
A fragmented video world means TV network marketers fight for every bit of non-paying marketing time and space to promote their wares.
According to current Federal Communications Commission rules, there need only be one announcement of identification for a product placed or integrated into a show. That typically comes right after the end of a show in some typically fast moving end-credits, noting usually that "paid consideration was provided by..." for such placements.
Networks argue that it's overkill to offer up more regulation.
Either way, none of this affects regular TV commercials. Despite any concerns, product placement and branded entertainment won't replace the typical way most TV networks garner revenue from consumer marketers.
When commercials hit the air, we all know how to reach for a TV or DVR remote. But you can't do the same with product placement -- nor with the programming swipes TV marketing department now regularly use.
That's the bottom line -- of the screen, anyway.