Shot of brand of cigarettes in new hit movie causes uproar

Before I begin, I want to say this The company whose cigarettes were shown stated they did not send their cigarettes to the movie studio to be promoted this is not about product placement that occurred in the movie, but about what could happen in the future as advertising moves more toward product placement.

At the beginning of the month I posted about product placement and how overt it has seemed in the hit show The Biggest Loser. Love the show, hate the commercials done by the trainers to tell us about specific products like Ziploc and Jell O.

I’m smart. I can see a package and understand that this showing of a package onscreen is a product placement, and if I want to purchase it I can. I don’t like when the show is paused so the trainers can give a commentary about the product (zero calories, closes great, wonderful low calorie treat).

The hit movie «He’s Just Not that Into You» has gotten caught up in an issue between Warner Brothers and the American Medical Association (AMA) regarding its shots of a specific brand of cigarettes during the movie. The AMA states that studies estimate 200,000 young adults each year begin smoking because of images of onscreen smoking shown in a variety of films. They want to make sure WB didn’t receive money for this product placement. (The cigarette company states they didn’t know that their brand was being used).

While this may or may not have been a paid endorsement for a product, it brings up questions. As product placement becomes more prevalent in shows and in movies, will there need to be guidelines developed for companies and studios endorsing these products?

For instance, if alcohol is depicted in a movie, with a specific brand being shown, will this create issues for parents who are concerned that this portrayal of fun alcohol drinking times could lead to underage drinking?

I was watching The View today and they discussed this issue. Is it our (consumers) responsibility to keep our children from watching shows that might feature this type of product placement, or is it their (advertisers and movie makers) responsibility to create guidelines for product placement that will keep children from watching shows and movies that might contain questionable products being shown?

As we venture more into product placement I’m certain these issues will come to play more often. What are your thoughts?

Cigarettes & red vines — the definitive paul thomas anderson resource: first ‘vice’ reactions roll out from industry insiders; doubts cast on cannes premiere

This morning I spoke to an industry friend who’s seen Vice and who thinks it’s brilliant and mesmerizing in an atmospheric, non linear sort of way. He says that Paul Thomas Anderson, currently doing the sound mix, doesn’t really want to subject Vice to Cannes and would rather take his time and tinker around over the summer and then unveil it in Telluride/Venice/Toronto. This follows what a friend told me a week or two ago, which is that Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux «has been courting and wooing PTA like mad to get Inherent Vice to Cannes, and that PTA has been telling him since January that it would be very tight for him to get post production done in time and that he wouldn’t show it to Thierry until then. Perhaps PTA would privately like to go to Cannes, but I’m also told that Warner Bros. is against the idea, considering it too early given its December release date. If PTA insists and finishes the film to his satisfaction over the next couple of weeks, he could probably prevail over WB, but the latest I hear is that everything is still very much up in the air.» Of course, a healthy grain of salt should be taken with this information, given that the sources are all anonymous and that the situation appears to very much still be fluid. In any event, we will know one way or another in only a few days’ time.

The much less nerve racking take away from this development is that the film (to the few eyes that have seen it) is apparently as astonishing as we all want it to be. The Film Stage provided some other anonymous impressions of the movie from one lucky insider today
Mix together The Big Lebowski and Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye and turn it into a two and a half hour PT Anderson epic and you’re getting close to the awesome experience of Inherent Vice. Even Joaquin Phoenix’s performance has echoes of ’70s Elliott Gould with a touch of The Dude. But don’t get me wrong, the film is its own animal. A drug fueled detective story filled with great psychedelic music and beautiful, grainy cinematography. It’s both hilarious and confounding at times. But Anderson does an incredible job of making the incredibly complex plot both comprehensible and entertaining. Even though he’s apparently said he’s still tinkering, it felt like a finished film and will definitely go down as one of my favorites of his. 242 days.

Find more information about the film on our Inherent Vice page.
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