Call it product REplacement.

From this week’s TV Q&A (via the Boston Herald):

Q. On reruns of “How I Met Your Mother,” there are ads in the background for the 2012 Toyota Prius V. How is that possible when some of the episodes originally aired in 2008?

A. Through digital magic, of course! Ever alert for new ways to cram commercial messages into TV shows, especially now that viewers can skim past commercials, advertisers are turning to product placement, in some cases even adding new messages to old shows. Does this mean that someday you’ll be watching “I Love Lucy” and see a billboard for a 2012 Prius in a 1954 show? Don’t put it past anyone — the bottom line rules in TV.

Just like everywhere else, eh? What a surprise.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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