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What's the story?

JAMES Bond may be famous for his "shaken, not stirred" martini, but after almost 60 years of knocking back his trademark cocktail, it seems 007 has developed a sudden taste for beer.

Thanks to a new marketing deal, the British Secret Service agent – played by Daniel Craig, below – will be seen reaching for a Heineken in upcoming film Skyfall. Ian Fleming must be turning in his grave. Is nothing sacred?

It would appear not. Product placement generates an estimated £3.9 billion for global film and television industries each year. The UK "paid for" market is valued at between £9.7m and £29.1m alone, depending on who you ask.

It has been reported that product placement in the latest instalment of the James Bond series is worth £29m – one-third of the movie's entire budget. That's a lot of money to say no to.

Product placement has been steadily creeping into our lives in recent years. Find yourself reaching for a Coca-Cola while watching American Idol or suddenly peckish for some Pret a Manger sandwiches during the Sex and the City movie? Chances are it has less to do with the adverts during the commercial break and more to do with what you are seeing during the main event.

When it comes to product placement the list is as long as it is blatant. Think Sandra Bullock's Taco Bell/Pizza Hut references in Demolition Man, Adam Sandler's plugs for Subway in Happy Gilmore and Will Smith saying: "Converse, vintage 2004" shoes in I, Robot.

Blockbuster Iron Man 2 racked up 64 brands including Audi, Dom Perignon and Dr Pepper, while other famous examples include AOL in rom-com You've Got Mail and FedEx and Wilson volleyballs in the Tom Hanks flick Cast Away.

In Eminem's 2010 music video, Love the Way You Lie, Stolichnaya vodka enjoyed a prominent role. The product placement begins with actor Dominic Monaghan shoplifting a bottle, before he and actress Megan Fox drink it on a rooftop.

Mike Myers made a tongue-in-cheek dig at the issue in the 1992 film Wayne's World. "Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor," deadpanned Wayne as he opened a Pizza Hut box on his public access cable show. Wayne then condemned "selling out" while eating Doritos, taking painkiller Nuprin for a headache and applauding "the choice of a new generation" while holding a Pepsi can.

It is a topic filmmaker Morgan Spurlock tackled in his recent documentary: "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold". The idea came to Spurlock while watching his favourite TV show, Heroes. "Here was Hayden Panettiere being given a car by her dad and exclaiming: 'The Rogue? The Nissan Rogue? Oh my gosh Dad, I can't believe you got the Rogue,'" he said. "I was sitting there thinking: 'Wow, I just watched a commercial in the middle of my favourite show. What just happened?'"

As for James Bond? Here's hoping he's back to his favourite tipple soon. Some classics shouldn't be tampered with.

.... Product placement

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