GM Goodies Result in Radio Mentions, FCC Complaint

Old-timey radioConsumer advocate Ralph Nader has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, objecting to General Motors giveaways to radio stations. Nader filed his complaint after reading an Automotive News article that described how GM is giving "America's best known radio personalities ... new GM cars and trucks to drive for two weeks each month," and inviting them "to Detroit for private meetings with top executives and VIP tours of GM facilities," in addition to advertising on their shows. Bloomberg News notes that "FCC rules require broadcasters to say if content has been aired in exchange for money or other considerations." The Automotive News article reported that Rush Limbaugh, one of those being wooed by GM, said on air that "GM cars and trucks have never been better." A GM spokeswoman retorted, "We've been very transparent. ... We think this is a good way to build relationships ... and to get the word out about our great vehicles." Other radio hosts being courted by GM include Bill O'Reilly, Laura Schlessinger, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Hannity, Ed Schultz, Bill Press and Ryan Seacrest. GM previously offered free trips to student journalists and funds many video news releases.