View Full Version : Do you find product UNplacement more annoying than product placement?

07-03-2010, 06:19 AM
You're watching a favorite show on Discovery Channel or Food Network, and suddenly your vision seems to be failing. Blurry spots all over the screen! What's going on?!

Seems to depend on who's the sponsor. If an episode is sponsored by Dell or HP, you'd better blur out that Apple logo on Ina Garten's MacBook! And while you're at it, fuzz out the Pyrex logo on her measuring cups because we wouldn't want to offend RubberMaid!

It's easy to visually tune out product placement, but all those blurred trademarks and logos are like dust specks in your field of view, and you CAN'T blink them away.

My eyes hurt.

07-03-2010, 06:24 AM
I especially love it when they fuzz out whatever's on people's clothing. Not.

07-03-2010, 06:35 AM
You know, writers have done product placement for a long time. How come we don't get the extra pay?

07-03-2010, 07:01 AM
"Greeking" logos and advertisements are done to prevent lawsuits alleging trademark infringement. If it can be construed that the appearance of a brand might possibly imply endorsement of the subject matter, it's much safer to obscure the brand than to show it. In documentary situations, it often costs a lot of money to get rights clearances. Incidental use can sometimes be defended - but it's simply easier to obscure the brand name than run the risk.

07-03-2010, 07:36 AM
It's a side-effect of a particularly litigious society.

Mac H.
07-03-2010, 10:31 AM
It annoys me even more in the screenplays for films.

eg: A guy goes into a bar and asks for a beer instead of asking for a Heineken.

Try that in real life. Brand names are part of our life and our culture.

It isn't just because a brand doesn't want to be seen endorsing something - sometimes they just don't want to be associated with the characters.

For example - Mercedes don't mind being associated with rapists and murderers.

But they insisted that their brand name never be seen in certain parts of 'Slumdog Millionaire' because while they didn't want to be associated with poor people.

The Aussie series 'Kath & Kim' has been blamed by the major manufacturer of Chardonnay for destroying the product's image in Australia. (If you aren't familiar with the series - imagine a hit TV series about trailer trash who think they are sophisticated raving about how fancy your product is....)


07-03-2010, 11:20 AM
I bet writers actually could get relatively small payments for product placement. You'd need a sales record so your partner companies could predict the size of your audience, then you could charge a fee based on that for the use of specific brand names instead of generic types of products. Stephen King could make a killing.

Movies and TV shows generally reach a much wider audience, however, and so much more money is involved.

07-03-2010, 12:23 PM
Actually, it was my understanding that they often blurred out logos when said logo refused to pay the Television Station for advertising.

THere really is no legal reason to blurr out a name brand that is made available to the public.


Actually, I take that back. If you are filming an episode of cops and the guy you've busted for drugs is wearing a Nike Shirt, then I can understand just blurring out the Nike Logo as you don't want that associated with drugs...

Ugg.. then I suppose you could logically transplant this argument into any instance that could be perceived in a negative light...

I swear, being in a litagious society sucks :(


07-03-2010, 06:15 PM
On many TLC shows, the logos on every car but the sponsor's is blurred. I mean, do they really think we can't identify a Volkswagen New Beetle when we can't see the circled VW logo?

07-03-2010, 06:40 PM
Wow. I've NEVER noticed! Maybe because my vision is blurry to begin with.

07-03-2010, 08:06 PM
I bet writers actually could get relatively small payments for product placement.

Say hello to Fay Weldon, back in 2001: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1524437.stm

07-03-2010, 08:13 PM
They really do distract me and take me out of the "story." I'd keep wondering what they fuzzed out... was it a Pokemon shirt or a gay pride T-shirt or what?

07-03-2010, 08:30 PM
Ugh. I hate it. Not only it is distracting, but 99% of the time you can guess what's behind the blur anyway. Stupid.

07-03-2010, 08:36 PM
Our society is no 'more litigious' than it has ever been.(People have railed against lawyers since time immemorial. Of course, they hire them too.)

The topics of litigation are what change.

What HAS changed it the method and ability to produce and disseminate visual stories. With new technologies, come new challenges to old laws based on old technologies. The laws are challenged through litigation - until they are shaped by it.

Intellectual property, (Copyrights, trademarks, patents) - right to privacy, right to publicity, free speech, freedom of the press, censorship, net neutrality, 'fair use', journalism vs editorialism, slander, libel - all these topics are colliding with the New Media.

Bound to be fights to preserve and protect what each person decides is important to THEM.

Hence, litigation. Always was.... always will be.

(Spoken as an advocate for mediation rather than litigation)

07-09-2010, 11:18 PM
I always thought they blurred out hats and tshirts because of obscene language. Never thought about logos, but if someone's wearing a Nike hat and the show is sponsored by Reebok, I can see how the suits would get their knickers in a twist. On the other hand, I love watching older movies and seeing how the logos (like those neon bar signs) have been altered for the shot; usually, the changed sign doesn't fool anyone. It's Tiller time! ;)

07-10-2010, 12:14 AM
It's Tiller time! ;)Or the word "Beer" in neon Budweiser script.