Friday, February 22, 2008

Hillary Clinton Goes For Corporate Sponsorship In Debate.

There has been lots of finger-pointing from each presidential candidate ---Senator Obama and Senator Clinton ---regarding fund-raising issues. Obama has accused Clinton of taking too much money from lobbyists and corporate interests. And Clinton has accused Obama on fudging numbers on how many actual donors he has.

But the Thursday night CNN debate revealed something troubling about Senator Clinton’s campaign fund-raising. The new issue in this race is "product placement".

Apparently, this might be a new way for a candidate to get their hands on corporate cash, but is it with the campaign finance rules? It is not a donation, per se----the corporate entity is getting some value out of the exchange, but is it kosher?

For those of you unfamiliar with ‘product placement’...
“Product placement advertisements are promotional ads placed by marketers using real commercial products and services in media, where the presence of a particular brand is the result of an economic exchange...Product placement occurs with the inclusion of a brand's logo in shot, or a favorable mention or appearance of a product in shot. This is done without disclosure, and under the premise that it is a natural part of the work. Most major movie releases today contain product placements."
When a TV sitcom family sits down for breakfast, and has a box of Frosted Flakes with Tony the Tiger’s face prominently displayed, that means that Kellogg’s gets a good plug.

Or, for example, in the movie, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”, the stranded alien gets hooked on Reeses Pieces, which increased sales of the candy’s sale by eighty percent. Sometimes it’s done rather inconspicuously as when a bag of Wise potato chips or empty diet-Coke can is placed on the table in the lunch room at the hospital on “E.R.”

Well, on the CNN debate between Obama and Clinton, it seems that Clinton may have engaged in some product placement dollars coming her way. This, from a well-known maker of copiers with the following exchange regarding her charge of plagiarism lodged against her opponent.

Obama: “…we’re starting to get in to the silly season of politics…”

Clinton: “…It’s not change you can believe in, it’s change you can Xerox.”

And the crowd may have contained more fans of the other photocopier companies---like Canon or Ricoh ---because they certainly booed Hillary.

What’s next for product placement in the presidential race? Nike Shoes sponsoring candidates walking in a New York City parade? Gerber’s sponsoring the kissing of babies? An underwear company sponsoring the popular campaign theme of ‘change’?

And it won’t end there—what if Hillary becomes president ---will Swanson's Dinners sponsor state dinners? Will Continental Airlines sponsor flights of Air Force One? Or maybe movie promos for the movie Air Force One on Air Force One?

It’s a slippery corporate slope, folks. Also, as a lawyer, Hillary should know not to use the trademarked term "Xerox" in such a generic manner.


Anonymous said...

It's not just Xerox with Hillary. On the Today Show she mentioned that she couldn't do without the "Bucky Pillow" just as a graphic MAGICALLY appeared in a corner of the screen. On a 60 minutes interview it was Purell. So THIS is the new way to raise campaign cash? Making deals with Corporate America?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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