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  • Kathleen Williams

THE PELOTON HEADACHE EXPLAINED


We talk a lot here about the positive impact that TV, film and music placements have on a brands image and relationships with consumers. What we have not addressed is negative impact placements can have on a brand if placements are not handled with care.

But then Peloton happened.

The team here at PopLab spent last weekend with a pit in our stomachs for the executives at Peloton dealing with the fallout from the regrettable exposure the brand received HBO Max's "Sex and the City" reboot "And Just Like That." We applaud their lightning-quick efforts to save the brand's image but in the end, utilizing clearance and placement experts would have most likely helped the company avoid this situation and expense.


We have one crucial guiding rule when evaluating and managing placements and clearances for our clients: No surprises. While Peloton has made clear that they were not involved with the placement of their brand in the storyline, we have wonder if enough questions were asked when they were made aware of their presence in the show.


While we are not privy to all of the details about the communication between HBO Max and Peloton, we know that HBO Max likely cleared the use of the Peloton brand in the episode. While it is easy to get excited about your brand being featured in the glamorous NYC apartment owned by the main character of one of the year's most-anticipated shows, the sobering truth is that protection of the brand requires insistence that certain questions be answered prior to giving permission for mention and portrayal of a brand. Further, establishing language in written clearances assuring that a brand use and image will not be disparaged is crucial. We continue to watch if the fallout continues or goes away..... Just like that!

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