Spurlock’s “Line In the Sand” Against Advertising

You’ve got to hand it to Morgan Spurlock, the guy who downed all those Quarter Pounders in Super SizeMorgan IMG_0812 Me, for coming up with another thought-provoking documentary. The director’s latest, titled POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, explores the intersection of advertising, marketing and “product placement.” The film, screened Saturday at the Dallas International Film Festival and reviewed here by Peter, was financed entirely through product placement from different brands. It purports to show how creativity is affected by such placement, which Spurlock says he considers a worrisome trend.

“From a creative standpoint, as artists, we should be worried about it,” the director (pictured in photo by Jeanne Prejean) said Saturday, taking the red-carpet stroll for the festival at NorthPark Center. As for the bigger picture, he went on, “Do we really need to live in a place where everything is brought to us by a sponsor?” He recalled how New York City, where he lives, is pondering corporate naming rights just now for parks and playgrounds. “Do I want to go to the Pepsi Playground? We have to draw a line in the sand!” he said. But, isn’t the horse sort of out of the barn by now? “Sao Paulo, Brazil, banned [all outdoor] advertising … within the city limits,” Spurlock replied. “If they can do it there, why not here?”

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