An Ethical Evaluation of Product Placement: A Deceptive Practice?

12 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2008

See all articles by Chris Hackley

Chris Hackley

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Rungpaka Amy Tiwsakul

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lutz Preuss

University of London - Royal Holloway College

Abstract

Product placement, the practice of placing brands into non-advertising media, is a growing marketing phenomenon, which has received relatively little attention from business ethicists. Such attention is timely because the UK regulatory framework for television product placement is under review at the time of writing. In this paper, we seek to locate product placement in relation to traditional frameworks of marketing ethics. We suggest that this location is problematic because product placement is a form of marketing communication in which the message, the sender and the precise intention behind a brand seen in a television (TV) show, movie or computer game are often implicit. We suggest that the possibilities for an ethically principled regulation of product placement rest on two key issues: (1) the extent to which programme makers, media owners and brand owners make their product placement strategies explicit to audiences, and (2) the degree of commercial sophistication, which regulators attribute to non-expert entertainment audiences.

Suggested Citation

Hackley, Chris and Tiwsakul, Rungpaka Amy and Preuss, Lutz, An Ethical Evaluation of Product Placement: A Deceptive Practice?. Business Ethics: A European Review, Vol. 17, Issue 2, pp. 109-120, April 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1100777 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8608.2008.00525.x

Chris Hackley

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

Senate House
Malet Street
London, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

Rungpaka Amy Tiwsakul

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Lutz Preuss

University of London - Royal Holloway College ( email )

School of Management
Egham Hill
Egham, TW20 0EX
United Kingdom

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