Stella Artois Blurred in Racy Kushton/Portman Movie Trailer

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No Strings Attached is an upcoming film directed by Ivan Reitman that’s being released on Jan. 21 about a couple of friends who try to remain buddies once they begin having sex.

The R-rated film stars Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman as the friends with benefits, but it certainly doesn’t offer many benefits to the Stella Artois brand featured in the film. In fact, its trailer encapsulates how product placement is regarded in Hollywood.[more]

The above trailer for No Strings Attached is a “red band” version — which might as well be “red banned,” because such promos are uncensored and often feature explicit language or nudity that would be barred from “approved for all audiences” green-hued trailers in the US.

The film’s red band trailer contains a lot of uncensored NSFW potty mouth language (at top), yet there is some censoring going on. Pay close attention to the beverage selection in the scenes and you will notice that the numerous Stella Artois beer labels are blurred out:

Below a comparison of the bottles in the red band trailer scene (top) with the actual film scene (bottom).

Apparently, a character screaming “f**k off” is acceptable, while a character drinking Stella Artois is too much for some (even adult) audiences. Assuming, that is, that the trailer-blurring wasn’t requested by Stella Artois, which is paying to promote its product and would presumably want to be featured in the film and its marketing.

It’s an indication that Hollywood is in serious denial about its product placement habit. While filmmakers and studios are happy cashing the checks that come along with an increase in product placement, they’re still ashamed to admit it — like this film’s theme, holding hands with brand buddies behind closed doors, but not in public.

Interestingly, the green band movie trailer blurs Stella beer labels, too — but prominently features the studio (Paramount) and can’t disguise the iPhones (or their distinctive sounds) used by the characters:

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