AdAge.com has an interesting story from last week on the impact that the Grand Theft Auto video game controversy will have on the new in-game advertising industry. AdAge.com says that product placement within games–"advergaming"–currently a $180 billion market, is expected to grow to $800 million by 2009.
The article airs worries that the advergaming market could be stunted because the controversy of GTA: San Andreas will scare off advertisers.
I don’t quite buy the logic because, as is laid out in the very same article, companies are increasingly desperate to reach what the story calls the "lost boys," 18 to 34 year-old men who have largely abandoned televsion in favor of their Xboxes and Play Stations. Video games present a ready-made platform to reach these "lost boys."
If anything, the article highlights the challenges marketers face in a world of time-shifted media and increasingly fragmented audiences.