In response to Julie Cantwell's "Automakers on slippery slope toward infomercials" column in (some editions of) your June 10 issue, it's my fault you are seeing product placement in television shows. I'm guessing it's Cantwell's fault, too. And probably yours.
That's right, I'm a channel surfer. Television (like Automotive News or any other product) isn't free. Someone has to pay for it.
For years, advertisers have paid for television programming by displaying commercials to the audience. But now the audience is dwindling. Oh, we watch the shows - but more and more, we flip channels during the commercials, or we record the shows and simply skip the commercials.
Here's a little reality: To sell cars, you have to get them in front of consumers. If consumers won't watch commercials, the industry and the networks have little alternative except to place them in the programming.
We are faced with two alternatives: Either networks and advertisers muck up shows with product placement, or shows will be available only on pay-per-view.
I sincerely doubt I am going to run out and buy a particular vehicle because a television character drives it on a show. But at least I will have seen the vehicle, since I don't generally watch commercials.