Anthony Bourdain is pissed at the Travel Channel. During the last two episodes of his eight season run, they ran a commercial for a car that used his image and voice without his consent—explicitly against his contract and wishes. He vows to do something about it, but in the meantime, his essay is a really thoughtful look at the evolution of brand and product integration in TV shows, including his own experiences with it. Superb.
A response written by a woman who works as a producer for reality TV is equally compelling. She recounts a story about the increasingly ridiculous requests she got to “direct” kids to talk about grilled cheese in a certain way to appease the cheese brand sponsor—not for a commercial, but for a TV special on the country’s favorite mom.