"Two cups of McDonald's iced coffee (BUY!) sit on the Fox 5 TV news desk" during Las Vegas station KVVU's morning news show, writes Abigail Goldman. It's a "punch-you-in-the-face product placement" that will last six months. KVVU's news director says the "nontraditional revenue source" won't impact his station's reporting. But an executive with the marketing firm that negotiated the deal, Omnicom's Karsh/Hagan, said "the coffee cups would most likely be whisked away if KVVU chooses to report a negative story about McDonald's," reports the New York Times. McDonald's has similar product placement arrangements with "WFLD in Chicago, which is owned and operated by Fox; on KCPQ in Seattle, a Fox affiliate owned by the Tribune Company; and on Univision 41 in New York City." Other stations owned by KVVU parent Meredith Corporation, "including WFSB, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn., and WGCL, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta -- are also accepting product placements on their morning shows." The Writers Guild of America West recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to require "real-time disclosure" of product placements and to ban video news releases, calling VNRs "an attempt to trick the viewer to think that a paid advertisement is actually news."
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