Television News: Now, Even Faker!

"If viewers were confused before, they'll certainly have a hard time discerning news updates from mini-informercials now," writes Joe Mandese, on how Medialink Worldwide is "morphing" news and public relations. Medialink "says 'branded journalism' is the best way to advertise in a splintered market. Instead of sending out video news releases in hopes that stations and cable networks will air them, PR firms are actually creating the newscast, then buying spots on networks the way a Madison Avenue (advertising) firm would." Moreover, "secured VNR buys are much more cost-effective than conventional ad buys," and have "built-in controls that unpaid PR tactics lack, including the ability to target specific demographics and to conduct a post-buy analysis of audience delivery."