There's no better time for advertisers to flex their collective muscle in the
Today and throughout this weekend, for example, newspapers and TV stations have become product placement
Under a company-wide plan orchestrated by a department assigned to Banikarim, GCI sites in 15 markets are expected this month to showcase a combined 150 retailers that all accept Amex cards. And readers aren't being told about the Amex tie-in.
Here's a small sample of what I found today across the company's network:
Greenville, S.C., is publishing an "Ulitimate Gift Guide" on its homepage, a rotating carousel featuring 31 things to buy, each
paid for "brought to you" by the very merchants selling the very products and services. (Example.) Editorial or advertising? You decide!
Denver offers a video interview with two retailers that prominently mentions American Express. We wouldn't be surprised if those two merchants accept Amex cards.
Des Moines has a marketing solutions two-fer on its homepage: links to its Shopping Main Street page and the Cold & Flu page
paid for by "sponsored by" Swiss over-the-counter medicinal maker Similisan. (Screenshot, left.)
Everyone seems to have that same Shopping Main Street page. (Here's Cincinnati's.) The journalism-lite page incorporates local versions of the Amex merchant profiles, plus maps locating those merchants; an embedded shop local Twitter feed; and a promotion disguised as a story for Amex' Small Business Saturday special rebate deal solely for credit card holders.