Nielsen: Broadcast Plugs Up; Cable Down

Broadcast, Cable Topped by American Idol , American Chopper , Respectively

Product placement was up big-time on broadcast TV but down slightly on cable networks in the first half of 2007, according to a new Nielsen ad survey.

Product placements on the broadcast networks climbed to 17,371 plugs on the top 10 programs, compared with 14,643 for the first half of 2006.

American Idol topped the list again at 4,349, or a hair (make that a brand-name hair-care product) over one-fourth of the total. Coke, which has plastered itself all over Idol, was the top-plugged brand at 3,231 plugs.

On the cable side, plugs decreased slightly but the total still dwarfed that of broadcasting.

According to Nielsen, the top 10 programs featured a whopping 92,925 plugs, down from 107,792 for the same period in 2006.

The top plugger was American Chopper at 29,467, which must work out to an average of one every few seconds. That's because the Orange County Chopper brand on clothes and bikes -- the show is about building Orange County Chopper bikes -- counts as a plug.

Not surprisingly, Orange County Chopper was the top brand at 6,118 appearances.