Glaring Product Placement Falls to New Low in New Movie "Bobby"

Smoke Free Movies AdA full-page ad in Variety magazine (the trade magazine of the entertainment industry) calls attention to the odd, front-and-center placement of a pack of Marlboro cigarettes in the movie "Bobby," a fictionalized account of the 1968 assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy. At a time when cigarette brand identification in movies is finally getting rarer, the Marlboros are displayed prominently in the hand of an actress in a long, 30-second, two-angle, center-screen shot. The placement is even weirder considering that Bobby Kennedy's leadership helped finally push cigarette ads off the airwaves for good over 35 years ago. Real-world smoking rates have declined tremendously in the last 40 years, but smoking in the movies has mysteriously skyrocketed back to levels not seen since the 1950s, when smoking was considered alluring. Nothing happens by accident in the production of a high-dollar motion picture, which leads us to believe we smell the stench of product placement.