By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
There's a new campaign to call product placements in TV and radio shows what they are: paid ads. Like when Simon Cowell gulps from a big Coke on American Idol, or a Morning Joe guest sips Starbucks. A group of child and public advocates, churches, and Hollywood figures called Truthful Media is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to regulate embedded advertising in TV shows. Their effort is winning attention on Capitol Hill, where some senators have expressed interest in joining. It's so bad, says the group in a letter to new FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, that CW teen drama One Tree Hill had 2,575 product placements last year—nearly 50 per week.