Fox TV news anchors enjoy plastic coffee

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Why are these news anchors smiling? Because they've been given cups filled with a solid plastic material that resembles coffee.

Two cups of McDonald’s iced coffee (BUY!) sit on the Fox 5 TV news desk, a punch-you-in-the-face product placement (BUY!) to chase down your morning news.

They’ve been on the Las Vegas station set for about two weeks, following the lead of a few TV stations across the country, and they’re still looking every bit as frosty and tantalizing (BUY!) as they were the first day you laid your eyes on them.

But wait, here’s the best part: They’re not real. Fake coffee on the real news, two plastic cups permanently filled with some kind of bogus drink. The anchors aren’t even supposed to acknowledge them, McDonald’s reps explain.

(I want this fake cup of espresso.)
Plastic coffee on Fox News (Las Vegas Sun, via Museum of Hoaxes)

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  1. “Fake coffee on the real news…”

    Real news? That’s highly debatable, especially regarding Fox news. I can’t say that I’m surprised though. ‘News’ programs are basically tabloids now, owned by big companies who use them to regurgitate the company’s personal agenda. Why shouldn’t they unashamedly advertise using fake coffee when everything else on the show is fake?

    To be fair to the hosts (I refuse to call them journalists) given the choice to pose with fake McDonald’s coffee or actually drink that swill, I’d choose the fake coffee as well.

  2. I would prefer if the Grimace sat behind a desk and read the wire service reports with little Fox paperweights on the desk.

  3. Beyond the utterly stupid product placement there’s something else here.

    I’m going to sound quite old here, but is there a hydration problem in America? It seems that everywhere you go people are slinging along huge cups of cold beverages or jugs of water.

    Is it assumed to be normal now that people producing a television show are so thirsty, so parched that they cannot even go a whole show without something to drink?

    A nation cries out for a sippy cup!

  4. Well it’s really normal to use fake food on stage etc. Like using mashed potatoes for ice cream – so it doesn’t melt. What has me confused is this from the article:
    “So they just sit there, two logo-emblazoned plastic cups, percolating into the psyche. Made-to-scale models that weigh something like seven pounds each — refreshing, and bottom-line boosting!”
    Seven pounds? What is this? lead plastic? just wondering.

  5. Wait, McDonald’s sells iced coffee? I’m there! (And hush up about supporting my local coffee shop – if I had one, I would.)

    Oh, I mean, uh… it’s horrible that the local newsdesks are selling themselves out like that. But it will be awsome when the next “What commonly found substance you probably have in your home RIGHT NOW will KILL YOU DEAD? Details after a half hour of equally-useless celebrity exposes!” turns out to be plastic pseudo-coffee.

  6. My favorite part is when they try to explain it away by saying the cups don’t appear until after 7am “when the hard news gives way to light lifestyle news.”

  7. #9: My doctor told me about 10 years ago that I wasn’t drinking enough water and “in this heat” to carry water around with me.

    I found that when I was in the desert with the insane amount of sweating and dry heat that I could easily drink 64oz of water. In the humid area I live in, that’s more doubtful.

    I’ve talked to my doctors and my kids’ pediatrician about hydration this year and both acknowledge that they don’t know where the hydration suggestions came from but that drinking water while you work isn’t harmful.

  8. I hear Katie Couric interviewed The Hamburglar as a possible co-anchor.

    KATIE: More destruction in the Gaza Strip today…
    HAMBURGLAR: Rubble rubble!

  9. …. also in the news today, a new study looking cattle rearing in Brazil ….bleeep …. fzzzzz …….. brrr… and the Dow Jones ended the day seven points down at ….

  10. Hmmm…I see nothing wrong with this. Big corporation…Fox News (even if a local). What is incongruent about this. Fox LOVES big business.

    What would be interesting if Fox had Obama placards taped to the walls, or if it were a major privacy / anti-drm website having content mingling with Microsoft advertisements right in the content. Now that would be interesting!

  11. Not surprisingly the hosts are also lumps of fake plastic. You know what this really needs? Paper hats, they need to be wearing paper hats and a big logo on their red and yellow uniforms. And they should smile more. Those smiles are not big enough.

    Let’s put a smile on that face!

  12. Well there is a good reason why many countries, including germany, don’t allow _any_ kind of commercial during the news.

    Well in this case it’s FOX, they don’t have any credibility to loose.

  13. Hmm, just like the BoingBoing commentators never acknowledge those ads over there on the right… TV imitating the internet, whodathunk?

  14. The local tv station’s morning show has a pyramid of Tim Horton’s coffee cups on their set. They’re not clear though, so they probably don’t even have any coffee in them.

  15. No. Wrong.

    You were only supposed to bring in the plastic coffee AFTER we installed the robot news anchors.

    Bring back the drugged beverages that’ll allow our flesh-and-blood anchors to do their jobs without a sense of guilt getting in the way.

  16. Welcome to Real News! Chosen people who looked like scientists said it was 18% more real than Fake News!

    Now for your regularly sheduled dose of over-reaction, fear-mongering and prejucide, brought to you by McDonald’s! Caution, contents of Hot McCoffee may be hot, unless cold.

  17. If that were me behind that desk, I’d be constantly picking it up and trying to take sips while reading the “news”. They’d fire me in no time.

  18. I work at Fox News,
    I work at Fox News,
    Ding! News is done!
    Ding! News is done!
    Would you like an anchor-bot with tha-at?
    Would you like an anchor-bot with tha-at?

  19. #25 – The Boingers often discuss those ads, their inability to remember which ads are there, and the non-interference they work to maintain between them and their advertisers. (as recently as the latest BBTV World post, which I recommend for Xeni’s rebuttal to accusations of corporate whoritude).

    Does anyone think they could get someone from FOX (other than a PR spin-doctor spouting corporateese) to even talk about how they handle their advertisers?

    Hopefully someday TV will resemble the best parts of the internet. It’ll be a lot more interesting then, and a lot less corporate. At least the channels I watch will be.

  20. @25: I imagine a goodly portion of the commenters here block all ads, and thus don’t see them.

  21. Hmm, if this is supposed to advertise a delicious drink, wouldn’t the fact that they never take a sip and the levels of the cups stay the same throughout an entire morning program sort of indicate that the stuff inside is… undesirable for drinking? Is that really a good advertisement for this product? That it’s sitting right in front of you and you can’t be moved to drink any of it over several hours?

  22. Someone be sure to share the video clip when they finally forget and try to drink one.

  23. The first thing I thought of was this:

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/home_depot_honors_fallen_soldiers

    Advertising and news don’t mix, even if it is “when the hard news gives way to light lifestyle news”. The people who make that hard/light distinction are the same people who answer to the advertisers. If this trend plays out, everything will eventually become “light lifestyle news” and the flow of important information will come to a grinding halt. It’ll be 24 hours of Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today Show. Then you’ll only see the news that Pfizer, McDonald’s, Walmart, and ExxonMobil want you to see. But at least we’ll have iced coffee.

  24. This reminds me of the Global Tetrahedron Penguin bouncing around and tooting a horn in front of the anchor in the new Onion movie.

  25. Is it my depraved imagination or am I simply unable to avoid the thought of a:

    DOUBLE LATTE

    or how about the article’s reference to a:

    “punch-you-in-the-face” Placement

    OMG help me…

    Or:

    “they’re still looking every bit as frosty and tantalizing”…

    my sincere apologies to Boing Boing. heh, eh

    :P

  26. #38 posted by Anonymous , July 23, 2008 3:59 PM

    Hmm, if this is supposed to advertise a delicious drink, wouldn’t the fact that they never take a sip and the levels of the cups stay the same throughout an entire morning program sort of indicate that the stuff inside is… undesirable for drinking?

    The anchors probably refused to drink it, thus the plastic crap. I tried it one hot afternoon, thinking it couldn’t be that bad, but it turned out to be mediocre, mcdonalds coffee with cream that tasted like it was from the morning served over ice in a clear cup.

    The coffee they poured in was warm too, so you had to wait for it to cool down. Bleh.

    I wonder how much they pissed away on product research – although I’ll guess suckers like me trying it once paid for that.

    I’m not a coffee snob or anything, but it’s terrible.

  27. # 6 & company.

    Some of us care because journalists actually have a code of ethics.

    Yep, it’s written down and everything.

  28. BB has ads?!?

    Heh. &nbsp &nbsp Wish I could do the same w/ my, albeit minimal, TV consumption.

  29. I for one welcome our new petroleum based plastic replicas of iced coffee beverage overlords?

  30. Actually, as a big fan of iced coffee in general, Micky D’s iced coffee is quite good. When time constraints or other factors prevent me from going to my locally owned coffee shop, I’ll head to McDonald’s for my caffeine fix.

  31. Gee Momus! What else do they have that’s mmmmm tasty -and convenient?! Please tell us!

    Do you work for MacDonalds, State Television (sorry, Fox “News) or are you really just a regular Joe?

  32. Mgfarrelly,

    There’s a long tradition of journalists consuming the advertisers’ products before the public.

    Why the surprise? Since when has America not consumed whatever it can get its chubby hands on? Okay, other than before 1950 or so.

  33. IHT has a story on this. It seems that the advertiser plans to remove the product and possibly cancel the contract if a negative story on McDonalds is run by the network.

    The ad agency that arranged the promotion said the coffee cups would most likely be whisked away if KVVU chooses to report a negative story about McDonald’s.

    “If there were a story going up, let’s say, God forbid, about a McDonald’s food illness outbreak or something negative about McDonald’s, I would expect that the station would absolutely give us the opportunity to pull our product off set,” said Brent Williams, account supervisor at Karsh/Hagan, the advertising agency that arranged the deal between McDonald’s and KVVU.

    If that did not happen, “it might lead to the termination of an agreement” to appear on the show, he said. KVVU, for its part, said it would continue to report truthfully and honestly about McDonald’s.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/07/22/business/adco.php

    ‘… report truthfully and honestly about McDonald’s delicious burgers, fries and coffee-flavoured non-dairy beverages.’

  34. Now I think I would have been more shocked if there had been REAL coffee, on the faux news station.

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