Thursday, August 4, 2011

No Free Lunches

Product placement costs.
Y'think the American Idol judges WANT to sip out of bright red Coke cups? Nupe, that was paid for! US product placement in 2010 added up to US$3.1 BILLION...and is expected to hit
US$6.1 BILLION by 2014!
So it's hardly surprising that Prime Minister John Key's appearance on Letterman back in 2009 also cost. What is that this seems to be a surprise to some!
Public relations firm Hill+Knowlton is on a $20-30K monthly retainer to promote NZ in the United States. After the Key coup, H+K brokered the 2010 filming visit here of America's Next Top Model judge Tyra Banks and the Biggest Loser filming early this year.
Tourism NZ CEO Kevin Bowler says the $10K Letterman lobbying was excellent value for money, as the exposure was so significant: "We got 10 minutes of our Prime Minister talking about NZ on prime tv watched by millions, plus all the YouTube was one of the best value things we've done in the last couple of years."
Bowler defends the decision to contract a fulltime PR company in the US, rather than use its own marketing team. He says while there are smaller countries where an in-house team is suitable, in big markets the muscle of a good public relations company is needed.
But Labour says while Da Boss was happy to make the appearance as a personal coup, he was not so thrilled that money had to spent first to secure it. Curious that the Opposition professes to know the inner workings of the PM's mind! John Key is well aware there's no such thing as a free lunch - in fact, he says this sort of thing is nothing new...
I'd say $10K for the initial and ongoing publicity is money VERY well spent! And, in the overall scheme of things, it - is - only - $10K!
Labour seems intent on turning this into a drama...

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