Vested interest

Product placement is nothing new to American movie fans. The pricey practice has even given rise to ethical questions, such as those involving tobacco products. But it’s perfectly legal, of course, and can be an effective way to promote a product in a high-profile, even positive, context.

Which brings us to The Protective Group, an American manufacturer of military and law-enforcement equipment that includes protective vests. The kind Osama bin Laden fancies.

Sure enough, one was on display in the infamous “Bin Laden, Done That” video the world has been watching. No mistaking the care-and-use label on the olive drab number featured in the video.

What to do? Two things.

First, express patriotic outrage.

“I am horrified that our enemies are using our products,” said Melvyn Miller, CEO of The Protective Group.

Second, make the best of it.

“On the other hand, I understand,” noted Miller. “If I had a $25-million bounty on my head, I would try to obtain the best protective product possible and get it between me and my enemies.”

Not exactly a textbook testimonial, but at least there’s no placement fee.

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