The big squeeze

Time and place shifted entertainment has arrived in 2006. This is the beginning of the end of the traditional 30 second spot, and advertisers will need to educate or entertain.

Advertisers’ response to time-shifting has been product placement and integration, something we’ve seen more and more of with the introduction of Tivo, iPod, and other devices that have enabled us to move our entertainment to anywhere, anytime and in any format or form factor.

Now, according to the New York Times, even product placement and product integration are coming under fire from none other than the Writers Guild of America West, which has demanded a code of conduct for producers that requires the disclosure of advertising deals through clear disclaimers at the start of programs. Failing that, they will seek increased federal regulation to prevent what they call subliminal, stealth ads.

The writer’s Guild launched a site in November to track what they are calling Product Invasion.

With pressure from technology on one side, and vocal writers on the other, where will advertisers go?

Perhaps they will actually find ways to offer something of value to viewers, whether it is educational or entertaining. Media over IP will be a very fascinating space to watch develop this year.

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