This is pretty egregious:

One of the worst product placements I’ve ever seen was on CBS’ CSI:NY. In an episode last year, Detective Messer was running between crime scenes when his cell phone suddenly began playing ‘Talk’ by Coldplay.

He then turned to his partner and said something like, ‘Hey, that’s my new Cingular ringtone.’ Not surprisingly, the next ad break featured a commercial in which viewers were offered a chance to buy the very same ringtone.

Interesting article about this rising phenonemon. I’m sure we can expect more of this as we Americans increasingly tune out commercials with our high-fangled DVRs.

Earlier this season, “The Office” featured a conspicuous product placement of a Staples document shreader. I wasn’t annoyed, but I certainly didn’t go out to buy one. Of course, the fact that I remember the brand probably speaks to its efficacy.