False Fronts

This spring, the Dr. Pepper company recruited bloggers to talk up "Raging Cow," a flavored-milk drink. "The company hoped to work up Internet buzz about the beverage - and it was OK, by the way, if the bloggers didn't mention that Dr Pepper had given them freebies and flown them to Dallas for a pep session," writes James Hebert, who examines several examples of the old PR trick of "getting a supposedly independent third party to tout your product."