Article spurs canceled soup segment

NEW YORK: An article in The Wall Street Journal last week resulted in the cancellation of a Campbell's soup segment on ABC's The View, igniting a widespread debate about product placement.

NEW YORK: An article in The Wall Street Journal last week resulted in the cancellation of a Campbell's soup segment on ABC's The View, igniting a widespread debate about product placement.

NEW YORK: An article in The Wall Street Journal last week resulted in the cancellation of a Campbell's soup segment on ABC's The View, igniting a widespread debate about product placement.

The pulled segment was to feature host Joy Behar and a Campbell's executive judging a soup-sipping contest. Contestants would also be judged on how well they sang the famous 'M'm! M'm! Good!' jingle.

The decision to cut the stunt was made when co-host Barbara Walters, who also co-produces The View, learned of the details of the planned segment via the article.

'Barbara Walters told me that she was aware of the segment, but not of the specifics,' said John Faulkner, a Campbell's spokesman. 'She felt it was a little too commercial.'

The issue has garnered widespread press attention, with many experts decrying the creeping practice of companies stretching their ad dollars in such a fashion.

A segment about the company's Labels for Education program, featuring program director Anne Pizarro, is still planned. It will include an on-air donation to a school in Los Angeles.

The Campbell's Soup company stumped up enough cash to send the cast of The View to Los Angeles for a week, but would not disclose the exact amount it paid.

ABC, which regularly runs Campbell's ads during its daytime programs, first approached Campbell's with the idea, according to Faulkner.

Host Meredith Vieira mentioned the brand when talking about how her daughter, a picky eater, loved one of the soup's varieties. Walters responded by saying, 'Didn't we all grow up eating Campbell's soup?'

Walters, one of the most prominent news personalities at ABC, will not be participating in the on-air promotion.



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