In addition to the sources in the article, I spoke with Stan Steinreich, CEO of Steinreich Communications, which has worked with clients such as 1-800-Mattress. Steinreich suggests that PR pros select product placement opportunities carefully so it doesn't prove damaging to the brand. In his example, 1-800-Mattress got an offer to place the brand in a movie. However, a main character would ultimately die on the mattress.
"In the end, we opted not to participate, because we didn't think there would be a positive associate with the brand," said Steinreich.
He also suggests specificity in order to avoid misunderstandings between the brand and the production company. Digging into the details of how a product will be used, who will be responsible for conditions on-set, and how the product will be displayed ultimately keep issues at bay. In addition, when you're dealing with a high-cost product, like a mattress, hashing out the details saves money.
"We can't take [a] mattress back," he said. "Once the plastic has been cut off, they own it. You want to make sure, with something like that, there's more control."