Products such as Coca-Cola, Budweiser beer and Jordache jeans do not “accidentally” show up in movies but often appear as the result of payments, sometimes up to $350,000, a Washington consumer group has charged. The Center for Science in the Public Interest thus has urged the Federal Communications Commission and state attorneys general to require that paid “product placements” in movies be disclosed to theater and TV audiences or be banned altogether. The group claimed that Miller Lite was depicted in 21 scenes in the baseball movie “Bull Durham,” that Marlboro’s cigarette logo was prominently featured in “Superman II,” that Lucky Strike cigarettes appeared in “Beverly Hills Cop,” and Reese’s Pieces candy and Coors beer were in “E.T.” “The paid placement of junk foods, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes in movies is one of the most insidious forms of advertising,” says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the center. “Advertising in movies is blatantly unfair to audiences who go to be entertained, not advertised to. But it is the very fact that audiences are unsuspecting that makes this form of advertising so attractive to consumers.”
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