Product placement is a time-honored trend. We're quite sure that Ford is pining for a Bullitt remake, for example, but the war seems to be heating up.

Exhibit A is Mission Impossible:III, where the Detroit News reports that General Motors and Ford had it out over whether Tom Cruise's spymobile would emerge from a plant belonging to the Blue Oval or the General. Ford ultimately won the battle with the Land Rover LR3, but it wasn't why you'd think.  Tom Cruise himself was the one calling the shots, and after a meeting with Bill Ford, evidently he found a kindred spirit... and a common interest in Land Rovers.

On TV, product placement has become huge, from the Chevy Tahoe on The Apprentice to the Mercury Milan finding its way onto the set of The Real World. As TiVo continues to make traditional commercial advertising less value, expect this war to start blazing.

[Source: The Detroit News, photo credit Steven Vaughn]