THe L Word doesn't show any ads, because it's on Showtime. But now the show popular with lesbians and non-lesbians alike has done something that will either become the future standard of television, or destroy the show forever: it has given its writer and creator the power to "control all brand integration" in the show. That means the writer, rather than the ad people, will be selling the product placements and determining how they play out. And it may become the de facto place for bad companies looking to make sweet $300,000 advertising love with the gay audience:

Those with knowledge of the matter say that for $300,000, consumer brands can buy an "integration package" that will either incorporate a brand into existing "L Word" storylines or allow the brand to work with the show's writers to create customized storylines, participating in one episode or across several. Ms. Chaiken is also offering brands opportunities for integration around, the largest social network for lesbians on the web.

Ad Age points out that the show does have great penetration into the affluent gay audience, which is seriously not a joke of any sort. And they suggest that companies like Nike and Mars-both of which recently pulled ads after being charged with homophobia-could use characters on The L Word as great brand ambassadors. We'll wait and see before we make a ruling. But the show's writer did say of other noncommercial premium shows, "They may be purists, but they'll get over it if they need to." [Ad Age]