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Vodka plugola on ‘Mad Men’: Not the Stoli!

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It turns out that not every TV show gets a big fat check for pursuing product integration in a series. Nor is every network as blatant about highlighting the plug as the ABC Family Network is on ‘Make It or Break It,’ which, as we pointed out the other day, went whole hog having its characters promote Kohls’ tie-in with Britney Spears for the firm’s Candies’ brand of girls shoes and clothes. With ‘Mad Men,’ AMC’s critically lauded series about the fictional 1960s ad agency Sterling Cooper, some of the plugs apparently are done for free.

According to a new post in BrandWeek, even though show star John Slattery is shown on a new third-season episode celebrating with a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka, no money changed hands. According to Andrey Skurikhin, a partner at the firm that owns the Stoli brand, he was such a fan of the show that when AMC asked to use the product, he delivered a 1963-era bottle of Stoli with no strings attached.

It’s unclear whether London Fog, which gets a lot of face time in the show -- since the brand is portrayed as a Sterling Cooper client in the show -- is being paid for the exposure or not. When AMC president Charlie Collier was asked who coughed up dough and who didn’t, he dodged the issue, saying: ‘We absolutely have product integration on the show, but you shouldn’t know which ones are paid and which ones aren’t.’

All I can say is that the way the ad men on the show live the high life, that 1963 bottle of Stoli is going to run dry pretty quickly.

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