The Literary Pedigree of Product Placement

If It Was Good Enough for Dickens, It's Good Enough for You

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According to Booktryst, a blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, product placement has been found in British literature of the 19th century. Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Jane Austen are among the authors found guilty of being the literary ancestors of product-happy writers such as James Patterson and whatever devious publishing companies are thinking of product placement on e-readers.

Writes Booktryst: "Many of the ads, it has since been learned, were part of an ongoing campaign by Ogilvy & Mather, the ad agency originally established by Patrick Ogilvy and Cotton Mather in the 17th century, with offices in Edinburgh and Boston, to promote fire, brimstone, and treacle for everyday use in the home."

Of course, there's probably some humorless (and not very bright) ad-industry crank writing to Booktryst right this minute to set the record straight on Ogilvy & Mather.

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