Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Pressure for placement

High end advertisers are starting to push for product placement on magazine spreads and covers south of the border. According to an article in AdAge, Lexus is openly asking for exposure for its pricey automobiles. It's not clear yet whether this is a straight payment option or whether the advertiser is making it a condition of signing a contract; perhaps a little of each.

Deborah Wahl Meyer, Lexus division’s vice president of marketing, says product placement is common in movies and TV shows and she doesn't see why magazines should be different:

“In TV, product placement has really stepped up,” she said. “That’s paid for and accepted by the public. It has become pretty widespread. There’s a lot of opportunity to do that in the print world, too.”

So far, in Canada, the practice is not evident or obvious, although there was a kerfuffle a while back when Flare featured an advertiser's car on the cover, with a model straddling the hood ornament.

However, what happens in the U.S. tends to trickle up.

(This emerging development, comes on the heels of major companies now formalizing "ad-pull" arrangements, demanding to see contentious or related edit, something that used to be insisted upon only by cigarette manufacturers. There are slippery slopes in every direction one looks.)


Blogger AlanTdot said...

How is what the advertisers asking for any different from recent issues of Toronto Life? Their cover has become an anchor point for the fold out/pull out/flip open ad that is right the cover image. Instead of a cover with the details of what is in the Magazine, perhaps they should have a heading that simply says 'Hold Here To Properly Read the Advertisment Behind/Beside/Under This Cover'

3:11 pm  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

It's an interesting question whether the cover exists to promote the whole editorial content inside, or if these kinds of covers mean that they are part of an advertiser's pitch.

As interesting is the question about whay this is happening now. Are we being pushed by tight ad budgets, or did we jump; are some people going out and soliciting such business?

The current issue of Masthead comments acidly about branded inserts in venerable Rogers titles such as Maclean's and Chatelaine. Maclean's ran a Peter C. Newman excerpt with the Cadillac brand on the front and an ad bringing up the rear of the insert last May. This has prompted Don Obe, the former head of Ryerson's Magazine Publishing division to write a response that is to run in the next issue. Knowing Obe, this is likely to pull no punches.

8:08 am  

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