Record #1113

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Reel 10
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EDITORIAL COMMENT: What is interesting here is the attitude toward the spectator, as a passive consumer capable of being aroused to protest by what he or she is forced to watch by virtue of the viewing situation - is this simply an inevitable degree of caution and hypersensitivity, or does the contradictory notion of spectatorship encapsulated here extend beyond these merely commercial considerations? Even here, of course, the dispute is clouded by consideration of what upsets the exhibitor - which seems to be that the producer may be getting paid for something he's giving them - an indication of quite how innately hostile the relationship between the two parties seems to have been.

'Survey and Report on Screen Advertising." Five kinds of advertising discussed: trailers advertising coming attractions; trailers advertising commercial products; educational or industrial short subjects; entertainment feature pictures sponsored by advertisers; and alleged disguised advertisements in feature pictures -- of which a list of examples is given. Audiences may resent paying for ads which they are used to getting for free -- but the greatest resistance to hidden ads comes from exhibitors


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Survey on screen advertising -- notes that double features prevail in the eastern section. Covers trailers -- generally acceptable but too many adjectives and superlatives. Mainly concerned with alleged disguised advertisements in regular releases -- notes examples -- Buick, G.E., Hoover, Coca Cola, Camel cigarettes, etc. "This is a very controversial subject with exhibitors (and newspapers) due partly to agitation on the matter a few years ago. The theatre owner is inclined to be suspicious of the prominent display or mention of any commercial article on the screen of his theatre. He feels that he has been swindled by the producer who is thought to receive compensation for the advertisement. The exhibitor gets nothing for the use of his own screen, and cannot avoid displaying the advertisement." Newspapers object to the competition. Notes that a studio uncovered an agency doing business with a national advertiser placing goods in movies. "All forms have a potential danger of a bad public reaction, with the first form [trailers] least resented. The last three forms [Educational or Industrial short subjects, entertainment features sponsored by advertisers, and alleged concealed advertising] are regarded as of particularly dangerous significance because of audience resentment against being duped or misled. The patron who comes to see motion picture entertainment may easily become aroused if he becomes convinced that instead of entertainment, or along with it, he is being handed commercial advertising, which he is accustomed to get free. "In the newspapers and magazines he can avoid reading any advertisement. On the radio the commercial Advertising can be tuned out. But in the theatre the patron is practically forced to look at whatever is thrown on the screen. Hence, he is inclined to resent having any advertising matter forced upon him. Sponsored shorts and features take up a definite amount of screen time, crowding out legitimate motion picture entertainment. It may easily develop into a real danger and threat to the goodwill of the public towards motion pictures."

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