Morning Show Payola

Friday, December 16, 2011


As product placement becomes pervasive in TV and movies, the line between content continues to blur. It turns out that even TV news is getting into the game of embedded advertising, often crossing the line into the illegal practice of "payola", when "experts" tout products they are being paid to promote with no disclosure. Bob speaks with Paul Farhi of The Washington Post about this thriving (if illegal) cottage industry. (Note: click here for a correction about the clip we played of Elizabeth Werner.)

J. Rocc - Stay Fresh

Comments [5]

Ann from DE

I cringe every time I see our local news that is filled with 90 minutes of great tips for the viewer on how to save money...all obviously commercials for products. Also the morning news travel "experts"...what airline, hotel chain or restaurant is paying them?

Dec. 19 2011 11:19 AM

The late night - early morning AM radio show, Coast to Coast with George Noory, appears to be almost entirely payola from extremist Republican and Christian media outlets and other shills. This is in support of regular daytime fare of Limbaugh and Hannity types. In addition to the payola, most major corporations and non-profits pay on top of the shilling especially in jerk-water markets like Baton Rouge. My beloved public radio, WRKF, does grunt-work informing us. But, they recently missed the killer quake in Turkey apparently so people would feel better about the annual funding drive.

Dec. 18 2011 04:48 PM
Rod Kackley from Grand Rapids MI

This was a great segment, just heard it on NPR.

Why aren't local TV and radio shows that offer nothing but interviews to clients, also guilty of payola?

Dec. 18 2011 11:49 AM
G. Aimesbury from NYC

I think when it comes to any segment on any program, whether it's the 'Today Show' or 'The View'. That intends to "inform" us of 'Great Gift Ideas" for any holiday. Or what's the best secruity system for our house, or child, it's all related to sales pitch.
Nobody wakes one morning thinking. "I'm going to be 'Saftey Mom'!"
Unless their child has been abducted, in which case they are'nt there selling products. They would be there telling you how to keep your child safe.
The moment a product name comes into play, the viewer should know that it is a product placement segment. And that the person talking about the product is just Billy Mays in sheep's clothing.

Dec. 18 2011 11:04 AM

If Morning Joe's Starbucks endorsement isn't illegal, it's certainly in poor taste. Although, it may be eclipsed by the poor taste spewing from Joe Scarborough's mouth once the show begins.

Dec. 18 2011 10:45 AM

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