Jump to content

Watch out for scams!!

Recommended Posts

The other day on 1-29-14 I had a call from LA area (thats what my caller ID said), anyway a guy saying he was from Legacy Entertainment, and they are in charge of getting the props for a new film with John Goodman and Mark Walburg, and they need a brown spirit and the producers want to use my (spiced whiskey) whiskey because it is brown and the label is very easy to read. He said get "Red Boot Whiskey" he also said the producer loved the name.

Anyway that's the back story he told me. He said they would not charge me for being in the movie (no he did not tell me what the name of the movie is) but to "protect " my brand from any bad PR it would be a charge of $5000, and he could get me on other tv shows for free.

I know this sounds crazy but I really think it was a scam , at least I hope so. :blink:

Just be careful out there, with more and more distilleries coming on line and tiring to eak out a living there is bound to be a scammer giving someone false hope.

Take Care! :D

Here is the number that called me.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've worked in Hollywood for a bit so maybe I can shine some light on this for ya. There are two entirely different routes of product placement "clearance" in film/tv. One is unintentional. This occurs, usually with signage in the background of scenes, when a name/brand isn't intended to be in the scene but for reasons beyond productions control ends up there. In such a case the production's or studio's clearance department will work tirelessly to get clearance and thus avoid a costly lawsuit/legal action.

The opposite of that is clearly intentional and this goes down in one of two ways. Either production finds you or you find them. The former occurring when someone in power likes the brand and solicites them. The later method, which is what seems to have happened to you (albeit without you asking for it) is someone is trying to get your product placed. There are reputable companies that do this for a price and it seems they've solicited you and your product. It's an entirely legit business model that does very well for the product placement companies and CAN do well for the company whose product is being placed.

That said there is a red flag from this company. First and foremost the $5000 to prevent your brand from getting bad PR. Now these companies do charge and that fee depends on a lot of factors. Some companies only want their product seen in a certain light and that can greatly limit the opportunities to place your product and result in more work for the placement company. That said, such companies usually aren't as blunt about it. The tactlessness of this phone call flies directly in the face of the industry norm for Hollywood advertising.

Secondly (and most telling imo) their website is not the best and their headquarters is located in a part of town that is more closely associated with physical elements of production (gear rental etc) than the creative/marketing aspects. Does this mean they're a predatory or bad company? No not in the least. Plenty of good companies have bad websites and real estate in LA is insane. It just means that this product placement firm is not the big time. No problem with that, very few distillers on this forum are remotely close to being that ourselves but hey, we're striving and it seems this company is too. It's just something to take into consideration when evaluating the call you received.

Bottom line: From my perspective I wouldn't call this a scam right off the bat. If you're interested you could clarify the $5000 fee to show your product in a good light and perhaps inquire as to how he's familiar with your product. Does he actually know it or was he fishing the internet to drum up business to meet a quota? I've looked at your label online and it is very clear and easy to read, and it would be so in probably 90% of filming situations. As such your product would be easy for them to place and theoretically would look very well on screen. It's "ready for it's closeup" so to speak.

Anyway that's just my longwinded take on things.

Also there is a film currently in production starring John Goodman and Mark Walhberg. It's called The Gambler and it's a remake of a movie from 74. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have gotten the same inquiry, regarding our product for the same film, from the same Legacy Entertainment. While it may seem like a decent opportunity, my thinking is this...

We are currently only distributed in one state. One of my partners wants to divert money from another marketing avenue, to this "film project." While it does have a certain "cool" factor to it, how well does it address our demographic? Should we spend funds on something just because it fuels our ego, or market our product more locally and work on converting those near us that have yet to try our products?

You can probably tell my vote.

Todd Weiss

Striped Pig Distillery

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I agree with you 100%. I just hope to clarify that I was in no way supporting Legacy or suggesting it would be a good idea. Obviously such a decision is very personal and dependent upon each distilleries specific situation. Just wanted to clarify should anyway get the wrong message from my explanation above.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, it's Tyson.

I googled them and it sounds **partially** legit. They are a product placement company and it sounds like a shady attempt at fund raising for movies. What I'm guessing they do is blanket call all kinds of different businesses in different areas and then sell it to the studio. They probably keep a large catalog of different brands so that when a refrigerator opens for 1 second in a movie a few products are briefly seen. For all you know, Red Boot could be on the bar's liquor shelf next to 30 other whiskey's and only legible on a 4k HDTV!

Remember this scene from the original Back To The Future?


A rep with the production company told California Raisins that they would do for them what E.T. did for Reeces Pieces. Needless to say, you probably never even realized California Raisins was even in the movie. California Raisins spent $5,000 on the product placement, and even got it refunded because the movie rep misrepresented it so much.

If they could absolutely guarantee a very prominent repeated placement in an A-list movie, then I'd say it could be worth the investment. Odds are though, that $5k would do much more for your business if invested in local advertising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add to this topic. We were recently contacted by a prop master for a film shooting in the area. They requested a bunch of empty bottles to help dress the set and add some local flavor. We were glad to help out with that and no money changed hands. I also checked the name of the prop master on IMDB, which verified that this person was legit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I used to be the Marketing Director for a top-25 Craft Brewer in the U.S. and I would get these calls all the time. Luckily, I worked for a company that was brave enough (and smart enough) to draw the line. We refused to pay for product placement. Once we made that decision, it made it really easy to separate out the legit inquiries from the scammers. And, guess what? We had a ton of product placements from film & TV makers -- people who placed our products just because they loved our products! There are also really cool ways to work with the Hollywood folks on unique projects like Private Labels, etc. But that's a topic for another day...

Cheers all,

Jen Anderson

Fuel NW



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 years later...

We got the same contact from these guys, and they said a similar thing.  We are also a very small distillery with no out-of-state distribution currently.  It seemed unlikely to us that it was a good fit for us.  Here's the text of the initial contact:
We work directly with major film and TV studios. And we had a production coordinator send me some still photo’s of your Hammer Spring spirits. There is a film studio that needs premium whiskey and gin for multiple scenes of an upcoming film and Hammer Spring Distillers fits perfectly for what the production wants. Your product has been enthusiastically approved and we'd like to discuss showcasing your products in the film. I also work with a few major TV shows where we could showcase your products.   This is very sensitive information as it involves the disclosure of projects not yet filmed/aired. Thanks.

The guy did call and chat, and sent us a proposal, but we decided it wasn't for us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a production designer or actor or producer wants your brand in a movie or TV show it will happen, in our experience usually without you paying anyone. Not saying these guys aren't legit, but, when we were contacted by them a few days ago and told him we've been in movies without paying....he was pretty excited to get off the phone with me.

  • Thumbs up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...