Gates invests in ‘message placement’

April 6, 2009

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is, through it’s new deal with Viacom, set to expand  efforts to embed messages (so called ‘message placement’) reflecting the philanthropy’s causes into popular television shows, as reported on The New York Times. The Foundation has in the past worked behind the scenes to shape scripts on HIV prevention, surgical safety, and other issues for shows such as “Law and Order: SVU” and “ER”.

This new partnership, titled Get Schooled, will involve consultation between Gates experts and executives at all Viacom networks that make programming decisions. The goal will be to weave education-theme story lines into existing shows or to create new shows centered on education.

Viacom, the parent company of MTV and its sister networks VH1, Nickelodeon and BET,  will also be donating on-air time for public-service announcements.