Submitted by John Stauber on
"An NBC-owned talk show is offering marketers the chance to buy guest spots for their products and executives, further blurring the line between programming and advertising. The sponsored segments were included in about two dozen shows appearing during the 2001-02 season of the entertainment program "The Other Half," which is owned, produced and distributed by the NBC Enterprises division of NBC, part of General Electric. ... During the Clorox-sponsored segment, for example, the hosts, who also include the actors Danny Bonaduce and Mario Lopez, faced off against members of the studio audience in a make-believe game show about housekeeping. And on the
segments paid for by Hyundai, a company marketing executive
offered tips on buying and leasing cars. ... While the executives were identified as being from Clorox and Hyundai, the hosts made no mention that the visits were part of an advertising arrangement or that the segments were of a different nature than the show's usual fare... 'It's very alarming advertisers are allowed to have so much control over the content of programming,' said Jeff Chester, executive director at the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington, an advocacy organization."