TV Pitchman Indicted. What Responsiblities Do TV Networks Have?

Posted by truecreek on June 24, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

For years, Don Lapre offered up a too good to be true story about how we would all be mega-millionaires if we only followed his advice.  Just send him some money now and he would be more than happy to tell us all of his secrets to making it big.

Now the government says 220,000 people were defrauded by this guy, to the tune of at least $532 million. Lapre used broadcast and cable television to get his fraudulent message across.

My question is:  what is the responsibility of the TV networks here? I’m sure he’s screwed them out of some money as well, but do they even bother to do any kind of due diligence before accepting advertising such as his?  What about a few weeks in, when everyone had seen the spots?  Didn’t any network executive say to themselves “Is this guy for real?” How about when SNL did a sketch about him?  Nothing?

I guess one could make an argument that he would not have been able to succeed in his scam without the networks lack of concern, so are they part of the problem?

 

When I was with CBS Radio, I couldn’t even run a spot for a costume contest on Halloween without having everything delineated in writing by the advertiser.  You would think that the networks would have some sort of policy in place to assure that these snake oil salesmen don’t use their spot inventory to commit fraud.

Does it show contempt for one’s audience when the broadcaster doesn’t seem to care that the advertiser is shilling for something that is just too good to be true?  Is it more important to get the business and close the deal than to protect the financial interests of your viewers?

My guess is that the networks will probably say ‘we will offer our support in any way we can’ when it comes to finding this guy and putting him in jail for good.  But the truth is, had they been a little more skeptical early on in the game, the scam might not have succeeded at all.  And 220,000 of their viewers would have a few more bucks in their wallets.


Kroon Hall at Yale University. An Award-Winner.

Posted by truecreek on June 8, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

I don’t normally comment on architectural design, but Kroon Hall at Yale University is just something special and deserves some thoughts.

A net-zero building, it’s one of the finest pieces of architecture I have seen in the U.S. in a long time.  It has solar panels, a geothermal energy system and was manufactured with more recycled materials than I would want to list here. They even use water from a pond to flush toilets.  Now that’s design.

Complete article here:

A Great Win for NBC.

Posted by truecreek on June 7, 2011 under More Dam News | Be the First to Comment

I’ve always been a fan of the Olympics, to a point where it’s almost always recommended as a tactic for a client. Especially if there can be promotional tie-ins, merchandising and the like.  For NBC to lock up the U.S. television rights is a real coup.  It’s become their franchise.

One can only imagine how much cash was floating around that table.

NBC now will have exclusive rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Olympics, whose sites have not yet been chosen.

More here.

 

 

So Glad To See The U.S. Auto Industry Rolling.

Posted by truecreek on June 2, 2011 under Opinions. Everyone has them. | Be the First to Comment

I am so glad to see that the U.S. auto industry has come back. Collectively, the domestic automakers have made some amazing strides in a very short period of time.  The culture change alone has been astounding, never mind what they have done on the design and production side of the equation.

The cars being produced by GM, Ford and Chrysler are amongst the very best in the world. As Chrysler says in one of their spots, ‘perhaps we should RAISE our standards and buy American.’  Or something like that.  I wholeheartedly agree.

For the entire article, click.