Placement is an un-traditional marketing method which is contained within the editorial content of a film or TV programme. Ultimately the producers/directors decide how everything (including brands) are represented on screen. This is vital to maintain the creative freedom and editorial integrity of the content however this may lead some people to therefore consider Placement a risky marketing strategy. It is relatively rare however that specific brands are represented negatively on screen and there are Ofcom regulations in place to protect brands from unwarranted negative exposure.
The majority of production companies are well aware that brands often spend millions of pounds building brand images and do not intend to portray the brand negatively. In addition they are also well aware of the size of brands legal departments who are fully within their rights to sue production companies or broadcaster for negative portrayal. There is however a subjective element to this If for example a bank robber in a drama was using a certain brand of vehicle to make a quick getaway following a robbery, this could be considered positive in some ways (as the car started up straight away) and negatively in others (due to the association with a criminal). A reputable placement agency addresses the subjective, unknown, perhaps risky nature of placement by providing transparency in order to safeguard the brand against negative exposure. This is largely achieved by their relationships with production companies and therefore having unique, advanced insight to scripts, characters and scenes, allowing them to flag up scenes which may be deemed negative (as well a positive) by the specific brand.