Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 147, Issue 3, pp 605–618 | Cite as

Product Placement in Old and New Media: Examining the Evidence for Concern

  • Lynne EagleEmail author
  • Stephan Dahl


We provide an overview of the development of product placements within traditional and newer electronic media, followed by a critique of current regulations where they exist and highlight the challenges this form of brand promotion presents to regulators. We note the weaknesses in current theoretical perspectives on the way product placements impact more than awareness and argue that a failure to recognise the increasingly diverse nature of product placement within entertainment media content means that awareness campaigns and warnings regarding the presence of product placements are unlikely to be effective in countering any negative effects of the practice on vulnerable groups such as children and young adults. While we focus on the impact of product placement activity on children and young adults, using primarily the examples of alcohol and tobacco products, we also raise concerns regarding a failure to act on the presence of a number of harmful products that fall beyond the current list of restricted products even in countries where some form of specific regulation exists. In order to aid those considering the necessity for, or scope of, any future restrictions on this form of marketing communication, it is important to determine not only what is known, but what also needs to be determined about the impact of product placements across the range of existing and evolving communication channels.


Product placement Promotional regulation Brands Television Children Alcohol Tobacco Sunbeds 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.University of Hull Business SchoolHullUK

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