US regulators open inquiry into stealthy advertising

The US government will investigate a stealthy form of advertising in which products are featured on television shows as props and at times even woven into story lines, an Associated Press report said.

The Federal Communications Commission says it will consider new rules to make it clear to viewers when brand-name products appear in shows in exchange for money.

Spending on so-called 'embedded advertising' has grown as advertisers look for new ways to reach viewers who flip channels during commercials or use digital video recorders like TiVo to fast-forward past them.

One television show, '7th Heaven,' featured Oreo cookies as a major plot element in two episodes.