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SEEING IS BELIEVING
virtual advertising hits the footie pitch
from SchNEWS Issue 237, Friday 19th November 1999

Footie fans beware; PVI tells us they are "spearheading an assault on European Soccer".

Did this threat come from an obscure Dutch football team heralding the return of the glory days of football hooliganism? Alas no, it is scarier than that.

PVI is an American advertising company peddling new ways of getting you to buy more shitty products. Virtual Advertising gets products and logos right inside telly programmes, the USA is lapping it up and it'll soon be coming to a screen near you.

By digitally attaching images to scenes before broadcasting. Companies like PVI can create adverts that are, in the words of PVI boss Dennis Wilkinson, "embedded in the magic of the show."

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So for a match broadcast in both Turkey and England, the sidings, team strips and even the pitch itself could show different brands in each country, even each region, allowing the ultimate in consumer targeting. It doesn't stop at sports advertising sit-coms and soaps are full of characters 'unrealistically' using no-name shampoos, consuming un-branded drinks and passing anonymous shops, which PVI can easily change to Lor*al, P**si or Mac***alds.

In fact, every episode of yer favourite soap contains thousands of potential sites for 'brand placement' so they can get you watching ads even when you think you're safe from commercial crap or as Dennis Wilkinson puts it "From tremendous virtual spectacles to subtle product placements that you barely notice, PVI provides the magic. Viewers are being impacted by virtual advertising." And they'll never even know it.

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Check out: Spy TV: Just Who is the Digital TV Revolution Overthrowing? edited David Burke (ISBN: 1 899866 25 6) 5.00 www.whitedot.org "

What is all the fuss about interactive TV? Interactive means that when you act, someone at the other end is keeping track, of what you watch, of what you buy online, of your tastes." This book tells you what it will really mean, and how to fight back.

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