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Apple becoming more open about product placements in TV shows

While Apple has long wedged products like iPhones and Macs into TV shows as a form of marketing, the company appears to be taking a more open stance about it, a report suggested on Wednesday.

In the Fox show "911," weekly closing credits include the line "promotional consideration sponsored by Apple" — reflecting the fact that characters use iPhones, Variety noted. Apple and Fox wouldn't comment on the matter, and OMD — an agency that buys ads for Apple — said it "didn't have anything to do with it" when asked if Apple had paid for the insertion.

Many movies and TV shows use paid product placements for funding. In return, companies not only get their products in the public eye, but often in the form of a illusionary, idealized lifestyle.

Traditionally Apple has only paid for its placements in the form of the devices themselves — even a 2015 episode of "Modern Family" viewed entirely through Apple products didn't involve any money changing hands. The company has also frequently been left out of credits, unlike many firms seeking placements.

In recent times that's been changing. Last year Apple signed a deal to appear on "Saturday Night Live," and a May sketch featuring a MacBook was preceded by a bumper reading "Promotional Consideration for SNL Furnished By Apple."

In 2015 it sponsored musician Ryan Adams' appearance on "The Daily Show," resulting in an overlaid message about Apple Music while he played. And, obviously, Mac products like the 20th Anniversary Mac were in the main set of "Seinfeld" throughout the '90s.

Apple is working on its own slate of TV shows for 2019. Given their origin, they're likely to feature Apple products on-screen during modern settings.