That beer your favorite movie star quaffed in his most recent film may be part of an "insidious" advertising scheme, according to an advocacy group that wants to require moviemakers to reveal when they're being paid to show commercial products.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the movie "Bull Durham" included 21 shots of Miller Lite beer, "Superman II" featured the Marlboro cigarette logo, and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" prominently displayed Reese's Pieces and Coors beer.While the center didn't know if money changed hands between filmmakers and manufacturers on all these movies, it said Philip Morris paid $42,500 to get its Marlboro logo into the Superman film.
On the coming James Bond movie, "Licensed to Kill," Philip Morris paid $350,000 to have Lark cigarettes shown on screen, center staff attorney Charles Mitchell said.
The center is asking state attorneys general to determine whether the undisclosed placement of commercial products in films constitutes deceptive advertising that violates state laws.
It also said broadcasting movies on television in which there are paid placements of cigarettes violates a 1971 law that prohibits advertising of cigarettes on TV.
Mitchell said the center urged states to require filmmakers to state at the beginning of a movie, for example: "Notice. This film contains paid advertising for Marlboro cigarettes."
"The paid placement of junk foods, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes in movies is one of the most insidious forms of advertising," said Michael Jacobson, the center's executive director. "Advertising in movies is blatantly unfair to audiences who go to be entertained, not advertised to."