CBS Pulls the Plug on Ashton Kutcher’s Stealth Promos on ‘Two and a Half Men’

Sep 29, 2011  •  Post A Comment

In Monday’s episode of CBS’s "Two and a Half Men," the new star of the show, Ashton Kutcher, snuck a plug into the show for some of his off-screen business concerns — Foursquare, Flipboard and GroupMe — as previously reported.

It turns out CBS was not amused. While show creator Chuck Lorre reportedly had no problem with the stunt — in which stickers for various online ventures appeared on screen on the back of the character’s laptop — the network apparently did have a problem with it, reports E! Online.

The network did not receive any compensation for the in-program promotion and has decided that in future rebroadcasts of the episode, the stickers will be blurred, according to the report.

CBS’s spokesperson told E! News, "This was not part of any advertising transaction with CBS. Our policy is to disclose such financial interests in a credit at the end of the broadcast."


  1. How is this different from the use of Apple products (featured prominently on so many television shows these days), or Jerry Seinfeld’s brand-name cereal collection sitting out in full view in his kitchen all those years???
    My understanding (at least as of a few years ago) was the cereal companies did NOT pay for the placement on Seinfeld, and Apple supplies their hardware to TV producers, but does not pay for their placement.
    If this is still the case, other than the obvious conflict of interest (and winking at the audience through the fourth wall), what’s CBS’ problem??

  2. CBS’s problem is that they can’t stand the possibility of “losing out” on any possible nickel and dime they can line their pockets with.
    This is ridiculous.

  3. The Apple one is the most ridiculous, because the Apple brand is the one getting used in those scenarios. Yes, sometimes Apple does provide the product to be placed, but this is extremely rare. In most cases, it’s just the show trying to gain a little bit of street cred with the audience, like “hey, we’re cool like you! See, Apple stuff? We’re cool.”

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