Marketing

Nestle and Namco Thirst for Absolution and Market Share

To promote its bottled water for children, Nestle has "signed on as a strategic partner" for the launch of "Active Life: Outdoor Challenge," a Namco video game for the Nintendo Wii that will be released in September.

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A Jolly Bright Line for British Broadcasters

In his first major speech on broadcasting, British culture secretary Andy Burnham minced few words. "I think there are some lines that we should not cross," Burnham told a media industry meeting. "One of which is that you can buy the space between the programmes on commercial channels, but not the space within them. ...

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Product Placement in the City

If producers anticipated that the new movie "Sex and the City" might be a marketing bonanza, it did not disappoint. Vanity Fair magazine sent two reporters to view the movie and count the number of promotional products that appeared on-screen, including any blatantly-mentioned brand names.

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Marketing with Meaning Still Means You're Selling Something

The WPP Group's online advertising firm Bridge Worldwide offers its clients what it calls "marketing with meaning." For ConAgra, the firm created the "Start Making Choices" website, which "conveys nutrition, exercise and other well-being tips from cardiologist James Rippe ...

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Healthcare Privacy Laws Quietly Assist Fundraising

stethoscope on walletWhen a patient checks into a hospital or goes to see a doctor, they are typically handed a booklet called "Notice of Privacy Practices" and are asked to sign a document acknowledging that they received the information. Patients assume that these "privacy practices" are in place to protect their personal information and that doctors and hospitals will keep their information in strictest confidence.

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Product Placements vs. VNRs

We recently received an email from someone who asked, "What is the difference between a 'product placement' and a 'video news release' (VNR)? Is a VNR a type of product placement?" Since other people might have the same question, I thought I'd post my answer here. On SourceWatch, we have articles about both topics. As our article about video news releases explains, a VNR is a piece of video that is created (typically by a public relations firm on behalf of a paying client) and designed to look like a news segment for broadcast by TV news programs. It deceives audiences by creating the impression that the "news" they see on TV was produced by independent reporters, when in fact VNRs are promotional pieces designed to sell something for a client whose identity is not always disclosed. TV news shows often deny that they use VNRs, but Diane Farsetta, our senior researcher, has done extensive research in which she found numerous examples of the practice. "Product placement" is a separate but similarly sneaky practice of getting television programs and movies to display a company's product within their program.

The Biggest Loser Is the Biggest Placer

According to the Nielsen Company, product placements on broadcast television increased 39 percent during the first quarter of 2008. All told, there were 117,976 brand occurrences on cable and broadcast networks in the first three months of the year. The show with the most product placements was NBC's "The Biggest Loser," followed by "American Idol" on Fox, "The Apprentice" on NBC, "Deal or No Deal" on NBC, and "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" on ABC.

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Drug Companies: Marketing Machines Gone Awry

Prescription pillsNew York Times reporter Melody Petersen, who covered the pharmaceutical industry for four years, has now published a book titled Our Daily Meds: How the pharmaceutical companies transformed themselves into slick marketing machines and hooked the nation on prescription drugs.

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