Free Advertising?

October 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

How I feel inclined to shy away from the character in a novel who makes herself a cup of  [named brand of coffee] or sips his [brand name soft drink] or maybe he goes for a [fast food brand name].

Why are writers so willing to give these globally known brands free advertising? These corporate giants have quite enough money to fund vigorous marketing campaigns. In many towns, we would be hard put to escape their advertisements, their products or their establishments (restaurants I won’t call them).

Why the mysterious use of [brand name]? I don’t want to give free advertising to a corporate giant.

Next time your character is making a cup of coffee, perhaps it could be a cup of [an independent fair trade brand]. Perhaps you might deflect your character’s steps from that globally known fast food establishment. Should your hero really be eating in a place that mistreats animals, damages the environment and exploits people to provide bad food?

If you are to give free advertising to some fair trade brand, try to mention only those companies that are genuinely fair trade, not just a small offshoot of a corporate giant—doing a little bit of fair trade window dressing.

Of course, writers have other options too. They can make it up: a character can eat at her friend’s fledging wholefood restaurant.

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