Product placement not good, say Volvo-driving journalism profs

Product placement not good, say Volvo-driving journalism profs: In an apparent effort to undermine their Abercrombie-clothes-wearing students’ chances of ever getting jobs in their major, 61 journalism and law professors sent a letter today to the American Society of Magazine Editors (based in “I love New York“) asking it to enact new rules to require disclosure of product placement in magazines, and to prohibit the disguising of ads as editorial content, or providing special favors to advertisers. The letter was written and organized by Commercial Alert, a nonprofit organization that opposes commercialism. It was mailed via Express Mail from the U.S. Postal Service.

I’m as happy as I can be (sort of like I feel after drinking a delicious glass of Coca-Cola or a steaming hot grande latte from Starbucks) to learn that ASME is being asked to throttle back the way it encourages magazine editors to weave advertisers’ products (like Apple’s new G5 iMac, for instance) into every story. I also hear that somewhere in their guidelines is a rule that makes editors do special favors (like including a Sony MiniDV Handycam in the “cool gadgets” section) for advertisers, as well. And that rule insisting that editors run every press release handed to them by an ad salesman (or sent electronically via BusinessWire, the global leaders in news distribution)…why ASME should be ashamed.

On behalf of magazine readers everywhere (and especially those who purchase subscriptions from the rexblog affiliate store), I’d like to thank these distinguished academics for trying to protect me for the rampant commericalism that has overrun the pages of magazines. Like these professors, I think advertisers should take their magazine advertising dollars and go where they’re appreciated, like a TV reality show or something.

Way to go, you opposers of commercialism!


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