THE CABLE SHOW – WASHINGTON DC. US cable relies on local ads as a significant source of revenue. But while recent trials of product placement may work in the domestic market, they risk falling foul of European regulators.
Linda Yaccarino EVP & COO Turner Entertainment ad sales, marketing & acquisitions outlined to delegates a promotion for Dove Hair products that had run in a story arc on the popular TNT series Trust Me. “Nothing was retro fit, it was all custom, so when we started talking there was a grain of an idea and a hope that its long tentacles could grow into many different platforms,” she said.
The difficulties of such plans for a European audience are obvious; either the programme becomes heavily edited, or if product placement is allowed the local division of Unilever is suddenly brought into action.
However, Rob Master, director of North American Media, Unilever argued that for the US, such treatments are a necessary boost to cable revenues. “I’m not sure what we go back too, but we’re living in a very different world than we were three years ago. Most of the cable and network partners are realising that 30 second slots is not what the advertisers are looking for.”