Variety reports that the Writers Guild of America-West is urging the FCC "to require on-screen, real-time disclosure on TV programming where product integration occurs, in order to make viewers aware of the range of products they are overtly--and more often covertly--being sold."
I think this makes a lot of sense...in fact, I had proposed it in this space back in December.
The WGA-West president wrote to the FCC, describing product integration as "the embedding of commercial products within the storyline of a program, so as to subliminally advertise to viewers. The hope is that consumers, not expecting to find a commercial within their program, will fail to realize they are actually being advertised to. This practice exploits the emotional connection viewers have with shows and their characters in order to sell a product."
He also said, "When writers are told we must incorporate a commercial product into the storylines we have written, we cease to be creators. Instead, we run the risk of alienating an audience that expects compelling television, not commercials."
Variety quoted an unnamed TV industry source who says the end credits on network shows carry the disclosure info, and product placement has not been an issue for viewers.
"There's no huge hue and cry we get from audiences about this," the source said.
So... let's hue and cry before TV will become one continuous commercial.