Advertising Gone Too Far

This morning there was a story about movie marketing on Morning Edition. One thing they noted it that in a recent sit-com there was a paid reference to the movie ET. A sub-plot was created exclusively to advertise that movie. I already knew that most every product you see in television shows is paid advertising (I mean “product placement”) but it had never occured to me that the actual plots of television shows were for sale. Maybe I am just too naive.