November 6th, 2013

Food Network: Brand Tie-Ins That Sizzle but Don’t Burn

By Brian Steinberg

Food Net's endorsements are woven inconspicuously into its programming mix

Imagine being able to pay for the privilege of having Sandra Lee or “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten use a specific kind of butter, sugar or spice in one of the recipes they prepare on TV’s Food Network.

For years, that sort of thing had only been a pipe dream of various marketing executives. The people behind Food Network have kept the outlet’s how-to programming — the backbone of its daytime schedule — free from shout-outs to various comestibles made by Pillsbury, Kraft or McCormick.

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