May 18th, 2012

Hard sellers

By Emma Jacobs
Financial Times

When Fay Weldon wrote The Bulgari Connection more than a decade ago, she took some flak for accepting money from the luxury jeweller. She had anticipated the criticism.

“When the approach came through I thought, ‘Oh no, dear me, I am a literary author. You can’t do this kind of thing – my name will be mud for ever,’” Weldon said at the time. “But after a while I thought, ‘I don’t care. Let it be mud.’ They never give me the Booker prize anyway.”

Weldon is not the only author to name-check brands in return for money, but product placement has not made the inroads in print that it has in films and television.

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