Roto-Rooter Plugs Product Placement

Roto-Rooter doesn't see product placement as money down the drain.

After having "imbedded" two technicians in Sci Fi's Ghost Hunters since 2004, the plumbing company has paid to have one of its employees featured in a four-episode arc of E!'s The Simple Life: 'Til Death Do Us Part, starting June 11.

The plumber is dispatched to help Paris Hilton with some household problems. "Technology has made it too easy to tune out traditional commercial messages," said Steve Pollyea, Roto-Rooter VP, marketing, in a release touting the plugs, "but viewers can't miss our brand when we're part of the show's story line."

According to the company, it has not made a national TV buy since 2001.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.