Pay-for-Praise Comes Under Scrutiny

Jonathan Adelstein of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission called "for an investigation of experts who tout products on television without disclosing payments from the manufacturers." The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post have reported on "technology and other experts who are paid tens of thousands of dollars by such companies as Sony, Apple and Hewlett-Packard" and who have praised those companies' products "on NBC's 'Today' show, other network programs and during 'satellite tours' of local TV stations." Such payola violates federal law and could result in fines of up to $10,000 for repeat offenders. "It's very deceptive to pretend to be an objective expert when in fact you're shilling for some private company," said Adelstein.