Thursday, February 08, 2007

Flashing it

Apparently, in the "Television Without Frontiers" directive currently undergoing negotiations there is a "requirement to flash a warning on the screen every 20 minutes whenever product placement is used in programmes."

Quite apart from the absurdity of the obligation, I can already figure your average family, slouched on the coach and having a competition, following the flashing on screen of a "Product Placement Warning," as to who will be the first to actually spot the product.

Was it that can of Coke? the box of Trojan condoms apparently left lying on the floor? the lady's underwear from M&S?
and, come to think of it, should I flash a warning here too?

I have also little doubt that our ever resourceful Eurocrats will already have defined in excruciating detail the size, colour, frequency, font, pitch, positioning, and about other 20 parameters for the warning's placement.

The most amusing bit, as all the non-bureacrats amongst you will have spotted, is that, it will achieve exactly the opposite effect than intended: rather than warn a supposedly dozed and half-witted consumer to beware the evil forces of consumerism are at work, it will, in fact, attract attention to the "placed product" and away from the dramatic tension (if any) of the movie.

Who needs plots and drama and creative tension any more?

I am just about wondering whether there will be a business opportunity in creating a clandestine market of "non-spoiled" movies here... I can already see those cinephiles, wearing dark glasses, fake beards and upturned collars approaching you on street corners offering you "a good one, mate"

Online downloads, anyone?

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