home
WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

NBC’s new head honcho says “more product placement, please”

jpozners Icon Posted by Jennifer L Pozner

June 4th, 2007

Hot shot Hollywood producer Ben Silverman (he who brought the reality TV show “Big Brother” to CBS) has just been hired as cochairman of NBC’s entertainment division and studio, where he’ll head programming with fellow cochair Marc Graboff on the business side.

As an interview between Silverman and TV Guide’s Stephen Battaglio promises, Silverman’s new post is dismal news for those of us who care about the corruptive influence of product placement, marketing messages and advertiser ideology over the quality, creativity and independence of TV content:

TVGuide.com: Madison Avenue is happy about your arrival because you’ve been aggressive in integrating products into your shows in an entertaining way. Will you be able to convince other show creators that this is a good thing?

Silverman: The business is changing. If our creative partners want to execute programming at the level we’ve been funding it, we’re going to have to bring advertisers into the fold. I understand that, and I’m looking at NBC and NBC Universal to provide solutions to the advertisers. I’m looking for the creative answers to their needs. And I’m going to look to the creative community to help me execute that. If you’re making broadcast television, you better get the joke: We get financed by advertising.

Now, I know that some of you might say that since quality, creativity and independence are already such rare commodities in contemporary TV, it’s not worth getting all riled about increased product placement. But the fact that the TV landscape is poised to get even worse is not something we should simply accept with a yawn. As I discussed in a two-part series on product placement for Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture magazine:

“…among the most disturbing aspects of brand integration is the ho-hum response it too often fetches. Why should we care about product placement degrading content, we wonder, when TV has become so bland, risk-free, and hackneyed that a show like According to Jim is an ABC mainstay? It’s an understandable reaction to media that have so consistently frustrated, alienated, and disappointed us. But if we care at all about independent thought and cultural diversity, we must demand that programming improve, not accept its commercial erosion with a sigh.

Advertisers are banking on our apathy in their slow quest to condition us to become the very shopping-obsessed drones… This is deeply disturbing, and not only in terms of its negative effects on entertainment. Advertising is profoundly manipulative at its core. Its imagery strives to deprive us of realistic ideas about love, beauty, health, money, work, childhood, and more in an attempt to convince us that only products can bring us true joy; numerous studies show that the more ads we view, the worse we feel about ourselves. How much worse will this psychological exploitation become when woven directly into our narratives?

The stronger a foothold advertisers gain over entertainment — whether they peddle their influence through old-school ad buys or new-school product placement — the more power they have to define our collective values, and the more poisonous media images of women are becoming…”

and

“Brilliant from a business standpoint, this model has serious implications for programming. One-look-fits-all casting will worsen, as will the homogeneity and vapidity of storylines. Considering how steadfastly fashion advertisers cling to young anorexics as the female ideal, average-size and older actresses will find it even harder to score roles once shows are designed to sell clothes off characters’ backs.

Let’s say Pottery Barn creates a family drama that revolves around a set full of their furniture: What are the chances that abortion or racial profiling would be discussed by characters whose main function is to showcase a trendy couch? Dozens of years and mergers ago, before commercialism so thoroughly permeated every aspect of media content, television occasionally gave difficult social issues the dramatic treatment they deserved. But a groundbreaking miniseries like Roots wouldn’t happen in a TV future [driven by integrated marketing] since advertisers aren’t interested in the horror of slave owners branding human beings—they’re only interested in positive branding opportunities.”

Speaking of media’s ever-present search for branding opportunities, there’s no more lucrative or natural platform for passing off integrated advertising as content than the reality TV genre, as marketers-dream programs like NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Fox’s “American Idol” and CBS’s “Survivor” illustrate. So, given Silverman’s matter-of-fact admission that he’ll be chasing product placers from here on out, it comes as no surprise that his NBC entertainment cochair, Marc Graboff, told TV Guide that among the network’s top programming objectives is

“a big-tent reality show. We don’t have an “American Idol.” We don’t have a “Dancing with the Stars.” We need that big-tent reality show. That’s the turbocharger of a schedule. ABC has it. Fox has it. And we don’t have it. That’s a top priority for us, and Ben is the perfect guy to find that.”

Come on, admit it, boys: what you really want to slap us with is “Slut Wars.” (For those of you who haven’t seen the satirical film “The TV Set,” get thee to a DVD rental place, stat!)

For those of you who prefer to do more than accept the commercial erosion of entertainment media, here are a few places to start:

– get behind efforts like Commercial Alert’s “campaign to require disclosure of product placement in all media, including TV, movies, videos, video games, books and ‘adversongs’” and

– support the fake-news expose work of the Center for Media & Democracy’s Diane Farsetta (also a WIMN’s Voices blogger).

– and, of course, we at Women In Media & News, the media analysis, education and advocacy group I direct, rely on your support in our effort to challenge advertising’s damaging impact on the TV landscape in general, and on on-screen representations and behind-the-scenes participation women in media. (By support, I don’t only mean donations, though those help — I also mean that we can always use extra sets of eyes to catch product placement moments worthy of exposing, whether in reality TV, scripted entertainment, or fake news… especially if the product, the message or the medium are specifically or tangentially related to women and girls or race issues. We may be able to use your tips in action alerts or blog posts, so keep your eyes open and your emails coming to info[at]wimnonline[dot]org) .

19 Responses to “NBC’s new head honcho says “more product placement, please””

  1. aerobic exercise
    September 30th, 2015 07:46
    1

    It¡¦s really a great and helpful piece of info. I¡¦m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. internet radio
    September 30th, 2015 08:08
    2

    I wish to convey my appreciation for your kindness supporting people that really want guidance on this important subject matter. Your very own commitment to passing the solution all-around ended up being remarkably invaluable and has in most cases allowed professionals just like me to get to their dreams. Your entire insightful facts signifies a whole lot to me and much more to my mates. Thanks a lot; from everyone of us.

  3. bespaar tips energie
    October 9th, 2015 01:52
    3

    Oh my goodness! an excellent post dude. Thank you Even so I’m experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Do not know why Cannot register for it. Could there be any person acquiring identical rss difficulty? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  4. voyage aux maldives du maroc
    October 9th, 2015 13:47
    4

    Hello anyone in this article, the is numerous feedback referring to anything at all here, hello admin remember to erase those remark!

  5. Recursos de ayuda
    October 11th, 2015 18:30
    5

    Excellent - I need to surely pronounce, impressed along with your site. I had no trouble navigating via all the tabs and related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently identified what I hoped for before you know it within the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Good task.

  6. Porn
    October 11th, 2015 18:37
    6

    Some genuinely nice and valuable information on this web site , besides I think the style contains great attributes.

  7. vaillance courtage
    November 14th, 2015 23:19
    7

    Oh my goodness! a tremendous post dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting equivalent rss dilemma? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  8. hud housing
    November 15th, 2015 20:01
    8

    Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and may come back later in life. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice weekend!|

  9. Eloisa Smittle
    November 16th, 2015 00:52
    9

    I believe this really is among the most vital information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few common points, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really excellent : D. Great job, cheers

  10. online kazanc fikirleri
    November 16th, 2015 21:49
    10

    I am generally to running a weblog and i actually recognize your content. The write-up has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and maintain checking for new data.

  11. Bechtel
    November 16th, 2015 22:49
    11

    Thank you for the great writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate?

  12. diets that work
    November 21st, 2015 22:34
    12

    Advantageously, typically the submit is truly the really greatest about this laudable theme. To be confident with all your a conclusion and will thirstily await the following revisions. Truly stating cheers won’t only finish up being suitable, to your great readability within your creating. I could at once seize a person’s rss to sleep in abreast of virtually any upgrades. Fine job and a lot success within your organization business!

  13. MCKS
    December 5th, 2015 22:59
    13

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this weblog. I’m hoping exactly the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming also. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now. In fact the blogging is spreading its wings quick. Your write up is a very good example of it.

  14. %26%231492%3B%26%231506%3B%26%231497%3B%26%231512%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231492%3B%26%231495%3B%26%231491%3B%26%231513%3B%26%231492%3B
    December 6th, 2015 21:27
    14

    excellent . Thanks for informations . Ill be back. Thanks again

  15. firmenadressen kaufen
    January 14th, 2016 07:36
    15

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to search out any person with some exclusive thoughts on this subject. realy thanks for starting this up. this website is 1 thing that’s wanted on the net, somebody with a bit originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the internet!

  16. %26%231588%3B%26%231585%3B%26%231603%3B%26%231577%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231603%3B%26%231588%3B%26%231601%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231578%3B%26%231587%3B%26%231585%3B%26%231576%3B%26%231575%3B%26%231578%3B%26%2332%3B%26%231575%3B%26%231604%3B%26%231605%3B%26%231610%3B%
    January 19th, 2016 09:35
    16

    Some really wonderful information , Gladiola I located this.

  17. serwis laptopów gdynia
    January 23rd, 2016 22:07
    17

    I beloved as considerably as you will obtain performed proper here. The comic strip is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. even so, you command get got an nervousness over which you want be handing more than the following. in poor health indisputably come further previously once again since exactly exactly the same almost a whole lot often inside case you defend this hike.

  18. Tyree Lisko
    May 2nd, 2016 02:17
    18

    Its good as your other content : D, regards for posting . “To be able to look back upon ones life in satisfaction, is to live twice.” by Kahlil Gibran.

  19. Bodybuilding fuer Arme
    May 12th, 2016 08:38
    19

    There’s certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really like all of the points you have made.|

Leave a Reply