Here in America, product placement is an unstoppable commercial machine that will only continue to insert brand advertisements into ever more ridiculous niches. In Europe, though, they're awfully conflicted; they'll allow product placement, but only by making it awkward.

The WSJ reports that the European Union has just passed new rules that will make it much easier to sell product placements in broadcast television. And you'll never be able to forget it:

While keen to allow commercial broadcasters access to a new source of revenue, the EU authorities also want to ensure viewers know when they are being sold to. The use of product placement must be made clear to viewers at the start and the end of a show and after each commercial break.

With three commercial breaks in a half-hour show, that would be...ten disclaimers per hour. Suckers. Over here we prefer to forget we're being manipulated. [Pic: AP]