Yeah, I took the headline right out of the mouth of the Financial Times as it sounds so doomsdayie*. When I think of stealth marketing, I recall actors asking people at the empire state building to take their picture with a phone, and actors chatting about new drinks at bars. At the finacial times they're talking about product placement, which is a whole 'nother can of worms.
Product placement - in which items with visible brand names are integrated into television programmes - looks set to become legal on British screens within 18 months. But the process must be treated with care if it is to boost revenues, according to some of the UK's leading broadcast executives.
Following an European Union directive on broadcasting issued last month, member states have been given the option of permitting product placement in most genres of commercial television, but not news, current affairs, sport and children's programming.
* new word!
A good example of real stealth advertising is when Sony Ericsson Campaign Uses Actors To Push Camera-Phone in Real Life.