SMT Interviews: The Other Fake TV News

SMT star Julie Edelman shills for five companies

As the Center for Media and Democracy illustrated in its April 2006 report, "fake TV news" includes satellite media tour (SMT) interviews. According to PR Week, "Generating interest in an SMT requires innovation and imagination, and maybe even a stunt. ... The art of the successful SMT is in its subtlety, where the subject -- the product, movie, or any other property being promoted -- is almost incidental." PR Week describes an SMT produced for Bank of America by KEF Media Associates that featured NASCAR star Kasey Kahne. Another SMT, produced for E&J Gallo Winery by KEF, sought to promote wine "to more blue-collar sensibilities" with a tailgate setting. The SMT showed "upscale tailgating, like wine and shrimp, not beer and hot dogs," explained KEF's Linda Buckley. An SMT produced for Del Monte by MultiVu "utilized a kitchen set with an array of foods," to promote the canned food company's "Healthy Fuel for School" campaign. Lastly, an SMT produced for GlaxoSmithKline featured "Desperate Housewives" star and migraine sufferer Marcia Cross, to promote the pharmaceutical company's headache remedy.