Some areas of product placement that were not covered in great detail would be of interest to research in the future. These topics include controversy in product placement, excessive commercialization of the entertainment industry, and product placement in other media such as books and board games.
A great deal of controversy surrounds product placement especially with "sin products" such as cigarettes and alcohol. Since laws prohibit cigarettes and alcohol from being advertised on television, placing them in movies is particularly attractive for the companies. According to an article in the September 2002 issue of Pediatrics, "smokers are typically portrayed as attractive, successful, and influential ... often with sexually suggestive content. Rarely is smoking portrayed in an unattractive manner or associated with negative consequences." The study went on to find that children ages 10 to 15 who watched 5 or more hours of TV per day were 6 times more likely to start smoking than their peers who watched less than 2 hours.
Those who watched 4 to 5 hours were more than 5 times as likely to start smoking.
The entertainment industry has become saturated with advertising. It used to be that TV shows had to only supply a pleasant environment for commercials. Now however, they will have to provide the medium itself. "This will turn TV programs into long, seamless commercials with a couple of scenes in between." Viewers are forced to be exposed to this continuous advertising whether they like it or not and whether they even know it or not. Companies are sponsoring shows and going into long-term contracts with movie makers to have optimal exposure for their products. This limits competitor product exposure and gets these company's names embedded in the mind of the consumer. Miramax Films and Coors Brewing Co. announced a long-term alliance, in August of 2002, that will include product placement in at least five films over the first three years. Viewers who watch UPN, an American network, will find that it's a Heineken world, in a number of ways. Not only is the beer manufacturer the only sponsor of the evening's prime-time lineup, but the contract between the company and the network necessitates product placement in the evening's half-hour sitcoms.
The expansion of product placement does not end with television and movies. Products have found their way into our video games and books which can be seen as our escape from reality. With the explosive growth of video and computer games, which now account for $6.4 billion in sales, in-game product placement represents a new, interactive, and highly visible form of non-traditional media. JAM International Partners Inc., which recently opened for business, is a company specializing in the product placement of well-known brands within the computer and video games industry. They say the time to launch JAM International Partners, Inc. couldn't be more right. According to Forrester Research, it is predicted that video game product placements will generate an astounding $705 million by 2005. As well as video games, companies have started paying to have their products be involved in the story lines of novels. Well-known British author, Fay Weldon, has chosen to have Bulgari jewelry to be featured in her novel. The product is so central to the story line that the novel has been titled, "The Bulgari Connection." Chief executive of HarperCollins Publishers, Jane Friedman, was quoted in the New York Times saying, "I think this is fantastic. It gives me a lot of ideas - what better way to spread the word than to have a commissioned book?"