June 12, 2006

product placement in books

It was only a matter of time: Product Placement Deals Make Leap From Film to Books, reports the Times.

Cover Girl, which is owned by the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble, has neither paid the publisher nor the book’s authors, Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman, for the privilege of having their makeup showcased in the novel (titled “Cathy’s Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233”). But Procter will promote the book on Beinggirl.com, a Web site directed at adolescent girls that has games, advice on handling puberty and, yes, makeup tips.

This particular execution sounds fairly straightforward; I’d love to see someone like William Gibson or Doug Coupland take product placement straight on and work it into a novel… Imagine Microserfs or Pattern Recognition where you had to work to figure out which brand placements were bought and which weren’t…