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$400,000 won’t buy you a good review from Variety, but it will kill a bad one…

Far be it for us to gloat over the misfortune of a major industry publication, but this story of Oscar ‘payola’ caught my eye. Basically Variety has been accused of pulping a bad review for a film which provided the magazine with $400,000 worth of advertising revenue. The film is Iron Cross – don’t worry that you haven’t heard of the would-be Oscar contender. It’s only really claim to awards prestige is that it offered the last performance of Roy Schneider. However, that $400,000 has gone along way – a lot of film nerds now know all about the film, which wasn’t on the radar last week.

Variety sold

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Policing Product Placement…

Product placement. Sponsorship. Payola. Image branding. Advertising. Astroturfing. The use of media – old and new – to sell products to people – whether they know you’re selling it to them or not. It has always been a bit of a thorny issue – with laws popping up against the legendary, but ultimately unproven, “subliminal advertising” – the flashing of words and images between the stills of a movie so fast that the audience couldn’t actually see them (though some would claim that these images made a subconscious impression, it has been difficult to consistently reproduce – but it was still banned). The last few decades in particular have seen a flurry of rules and regulations attempting to regulate what you can sell to who and how. But is advertising that easy to regulate?

"The Mac - for the insufferable genius in all of us..."

"The Mac - for the insufferable genius in all of us..."

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