Examining the covert nature of product placement: Implications for public policy

Kerri Ann L. Kuhn, Margee Hume, Anita Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


As consumers become better educated and more skeptical of traditional advertising, alternate forms of marketing communication have emerged that aim to influence audiences unobtrusively. One such example is product placement. Product placement has attracted ongoing debate as to whether it is covert, unethical, and influences consumption. The current article examines the nature and practice of product placement in this light. This taxonomy of product placement attributes is based on current marketing practice and examines whether this is, indeed, a covert marketing strategy. Further, it presents a conceptualization of the influence of product placement on consumer welfare. We highlight that the many forms of product placement necessitate independent evaluation to determine ethical and regulatory standards. Operational solutions for developing public policy are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-79
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumerism
  • Covert marketing
  • Product placement (PP)
  • Public policy


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