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Does This Make Your Hair Stand on End?

Today’s Advertising Age has a story about advertisers — specifically the big carmakers — pressuring magazines for “product placement.” Never mind the euphemisms or the tap-dancing. What they’re telling revenue-starved magazines is clear: Write about our products in your editorial pages (where favorable mention obviously has more credibility than advertising) and we’ll be more likely to pony up for some ads. I think this is a case of both sides cutting their own throats for short-term expediency. The magazines that play this game will lose all credibility — and the advertisers will be placing their messages in environments that, um, have lost all credibility. Marketers out there — what do you think?

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