With the continuing growth of the paid inclusion of brands in television programs, the lines between editorial and commercial
content are more and more blurred. This has attracted criticism from consumer advocacy groups, public policy officials, the
media and consumers, claiming that sponsored content in TV programs is unethical and deceptive (Cain, 2011; Kuhn, Hume, &
Love, 2010). They argue that because this form of advertising is embedded into program content, the commercial intent is kept
hidden (Bhatnagar, Aksoy, & Malkoc, 2004). Consequently, viewers are not always aware of the commercial and persuasive
purpose of sponsored program content, and - as a result - they do not activate their cognitive defences and can be influenced
without being aware (Kuhn et al., 2010; Lee, 2008).