Motoko Rich has an article in the June 12, 2006 issue of the New York Times which says that book publishers are now cooking deals with companies for "product placement" in the novels and other books that they publish. Here is part of Motoko's article:
By now, television and movie viewers have become used to this kind of thing: when they see sneakers or cars on a show or in a film, they generally assume that these appearances have been paid for by the companies that make the brands.
But product placement in books is still relatively rare. The use of even the subtlest of sales pitches, particularly in a book aimed at adolescents, could raise questions about the vulnerability of the readers.
It is interesting to see how commercialism is taking over the arts such as music, movies, and now books. All the more reason why we need to teach our children "media literacy" so they can "read between the lines" and understand the mental pollution they are being subjected to by corporations who want to manipulate them into thinking they have a "need" for their products. It makes one wonder whether this commercialization of the culture is good for people's mental health and for the well being of the society in which we live together?