Recently, Verizon and NBC struck up a deal to push Verizon Wireless products in 30 Rock, but they did not count on Tina Fey turning the tables, calling out Verizon for this covert marketing effort.
See the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d36wUmJGzvA
Product integration is a much more nafarious version of product placemen, in which studios make deals with companies to push their products in the heart of a TV shows script. This essentially means that backroom deals between marketing departments begin to shape the content of the scripts, and so writers are forced to shoehorn products into their writing.
At the FCC hearing in Chicago this September Writers Guild of America, West President Patric M. Verrone described the “potentially adverse impact on the quality and integrity of TV, film, and new media programming.” He said: “We believe that, in order to protect viewers, there has to be
disclosure that adequately reveals product integration. The FCC should
require a crawl to run at the bottom of the screen during the
integration that would identify the product, its promoter, and the fact
that the writers and actors do not personally endorse the product’s
You can download a copy of Verrone’s remarks here (pdf link): http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/news_and_events/press_release/fcc/FCCTestimony.pdf
In the midst of the news surrounding the strike thisissue has not gotten much attention, but the episode of 30 Rock is a good reminder of the other pressures being put on writers. Take a moment and support theWGA Strike. Visit: http://unitedhollywood.blogspot.com/