Intuitive Surgical is located on the west coast. So, the folks there weren't at work yet when I called earlier today seeking comment on what I thought was product placement in last night's "Grey's Anatomy." They all stayed up late to watch the showand then bask in the glow of the kind of advertising some might say money can't buy. And, in this case, apparently it didn't.
ISRG's Director of Marketing, Heather Chemtob, just called to tell me it wasn't product placement at all and that no money changed hands.
She said the folks at ABC'sGrey's reached out to ISRG less than two months ago and asked to use one of its robots because it likes to keep it real. Of course, ISRG was more than happy to oblige. Chemtob said the company got to proof the script for the two scenes where the daVinci robotwas used or talked about and sent a couple of "experts" to the set for the two-day shoot to make sure the device was used "appropriately." ISRG had once arranged a similar loaner to NBC's"ER,"Chemtob told me.
She thought most of the stuff would end up on the proverbial cutting room floor, but the company was "amazed" by how much they actually put into last night's show.
So was I.