Thursday, March 16, 2006

KRON news dabbles with product placement

KRON president and general manager Mark Antonitis (pictured) is quoted in a Hollywood Reporter article today (March 16) about how local TV stations are jumping on the product placement bandwagon. "We're all trying to find ways of integrating commercial messages into content that satisfy the audience and advertisers without hurting our product," Antonitis said. "When you're an independent, you've got to do what you can to survive." So that meant local spas paid to be featured in an 11-day "Spa Spectacular" series on Channel 4 last month and viewers were offered an opportunity to purchase half-off gift certificates at the spas. KRON anchors told viewers that the spas paid to be on the news as part of the station's policy of disclosing product placements. The Hollywood Reporter article also says Australia's tourism marketing agency paid KRON to run a weeklong series about the country in its morning news. The tourism agency also paid all expenses for a five-member news crew to travel to Australia and sponsored trips to Australia for viewers who won a contest. Antonitis said: "...if we can have the added benefit of a new revenue source and give something to our viewers that they wouldn't be able to get otherwise and advertisers get their products advertised, it's a win-win-win."

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