One factor fuelling the rise of product placement is that traditional advertising breaks aren't hitting home like they used to. We love our new era of quality television so much, we'll do anything we can to watch it uninterrupted, whether that means paying subscriptions, watching on DVD, streaming and downloading online (legitimately or illegally), or, most often, using PVRs to fast-forward over the ad-breaks. According to research, 90% of households with digital recording use it to skip ads.
"There's a growing realisation that we're being trained to be blind to advertising," says Mark Popkiewicz, CEO of British-based advertising company Mirriad. "That is undoubtedly going to drive a very hard equation between the people who are putting the advertising dollars on the table and the people who are distributing the content and trying to make the economics work. Certainly something has to change."
But I'm sure product placement hasn't escaped anyone...