We might be used to the ever-present Coke cups in front of Simon and Paula during American Idol, but this type of product placement has, until now, been absent on TV news sets. A few weeks ago, the morning anchors at Las Vegas KVVU started delivering news and lifestyle information with cups of McDonald's iced coffee in front of them.
The station's news director indicated that the cups would be removed if a negative report of McDonald's surfaced. The price of the deal was not revealed, but the arrangement is meant to boost advertising revenue. The news director adds that he won't include any product placement in the hard newscasts at 5 p.m. or 10 p.m.
Herbert Jack Rotfeld, a professor of marketing at Auburn University, thinks including advertising in news segments is, well, bad news: "In the end, they just make the audiences even more skeptical of everything," he says. Do you agree with him?