Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Pensacola Product Placement

Former ad man Mark O'Brien in his regrettably regular column today suggests local governments should begin embedding ads in their meetings to generate revenue. It's called "product placement."
Rather than tax citizens, add "product placement" to government meetings, just as soap operas do. Actors mention the products in dialogue and manufacturers pay a fee. It's just like a commercial except the viewer is supposed to think it's part of the plot.
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At the meeting, strategically located items will catch viewers' eyes — soft-drink cans, signs touting Realtors. Government can even hype its meetings with catchy names like "As The Courthouse Turns ... and Turns and Turns."

Mark's behind the times. Pensacola Beach's governing authority, the Santa Rosa Island Authority, has indulged in product placement -- and then some -- for more than a decade. As can be seen in yesterday's announcement, they not only give free advertising to local engineering firm Baskerville Donovan, they actually buy their services before the SRIA knows what, if anything, the beach really needs.

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