MSNBC's Morning Joe program seems to have turned its conspicuous consumption of Starbucks drinks into a paid commercial for the coffee chain, according to this morning's New York Times (6/1/09). As Brian Stelter put it, Joe Scarborough "sips Frappuccinos on camera so often that some viewers have wondered whether it is a form of product placement, paid for by the coffee company. Starting Monday, it will be."
The deal is worth over $10 million, and will include "Starbucks graphics and mentions during each hour of the 6 to 9 a.m. program." The show might even broadcast from Starbucks locations from time to time.
Conflict of interest? MSNBC president Phil Griffins says no way:
Mr. Griffin said Morning Joe would continue to cover Starbucks as a news item if warranted. "They understand that we have standards," he said.