Over the course of its company history, Hampton Creek Inc. encountered many controversies in its attempt to market an eggless alternative to mayonnaise; from an intense battle with the Egg Lobby of the U.S. food industry to accusations from disgruntled staff concerning the startup's questionable research and work environment, comes the revelation that Hampton Creek instructed its own employees to purchase its product from store shelves in bulk quantities to drive up sales figures. [more inside]
US News and World Report (USNWR) ranking of the top ten universities in mathematics are: 1. Berkeley ; 2. Stanford ; 3. Princeton ; 4. UCLA ; 5. University of Oxford ; 6. Harvard ; 7. King Abdulaziz University ; 8. Pierre and Marie Curie – Paris 6 ; 9. University of Hong Kong ; 10. University of Cambridge [more inside]
AdDetector is a browser extension that spots articles with corporate sponsors. It puts a big banner on top of any article that may appear unbiased at first glance, but is actually paid for by an advertiser. For example, it turns the small, light-grey-on-white "Sponsored" on this deadspin article into a giant red banner. "Native advertising" previously.
"..when a victorious chief minister openly admits that he himself approached the leading newspaper of his state with money for “positive stories” after learning that the newspaper had signed a “package deal” with his rivals to print negative stories, you had better sit up and take urgent notice"
Teapot Dome 2008 -- "The report also detailed cozy relationships between energy companies and other officials in the royalty-in-kind program office. Some 19 officials — a third of the staff — took gifts from oil and gas executives, some with “prodigious frequency,” it said." [more inside]
The RIAA wants the radio performance royalties exemption repealed. For decades, radio stations have gotten a free pass for spins of records due to the fact such play sells records. While decreasing in importance, and taking note of the myriad payola scandals in the past, terrestrial radio is still the single largest factor in promotions for the record industry and one of the few remaining things in the industry that still seems to work.
The Price of Payola and Fake News? 1.6 billion dollars for just 2003-5 alone. The GAO's new report lays it out. That's how much seven federal departments spent from 2003 through the second quarter of 2005 on 343 contracts with public relations firms, advertising agencies, media organizations and individuals, according to a new Government Accountability Office report. ... The new report reveals that federal public relations spending goes far beyond "video news releases." (full report is a PDF download from there) And there's another scandal coming, if Wonkette has it right.
Op-ed Payola, not just for the White House anymore. An outcry arose over the Bush administrations payments to multiple columnists to push the Bush agenda without disclosing the payments. Now it turns out Jack Abramoff had op-ed columnists on his payroll too. Doug Bandow has just resigned as a senior fellow of the Cato Institute after being discovered taking payola from Abramoff's clients. Josh Marshall claims this practice is endemic in DC. There are even shops in DC that specialize in ginning up bogus 'man on the street' opeds which they then get placed on major oped pages. Another area where my reporting showed this to be very common was among foreign lobbyists, a number of whom had ex-foreign service officers and various other foreign policy bigwigs on retainer to write opeds advocating on behalf of their clients. Actually, 'write' overstates the matter. The lobbying firm writes the OpEd and the expert signs it.
And then there were 3 --(salon, watch ad or use bugmenot) One day after President Bush ordered his Cabinet secretaries to stop hiring commentators to help promote administration initiatives, and one day after the second high-profile conservative pundit was found to be on the federal payroll, a third embarrassing hire has emerged. Meet Michael McManus. Who's next in PayolaGate? And in the Senate, they're going to be introducing a 'Stop Government Propaganda Act.' Even Jonah Goldberg (on the right) is actually calling for a real investigation .
Go Eliot, Go! The real Ralph Nader has now targeted the record companies and radio networks. Payola is back and wrecking radio. Salon has been hammering on this, Tom Petty wrote a song about it, we all have been feeling its effects, and finally maybe something will be done. At the very least, a serious attack dog is on the issue.
My advice is unbiased. Pay no attention to that cash sticking out of my pocket. A little MetaFollowup. You'll recall the 52 British diplomats who sent that letter to Prime Minister Blair saying his policies sucked? It turns out that a number of them are getting paid off - directly and indirectly - by pro-Arab organizations. [more inside]
Silly listeners. Payola in radio isn't "back", it's just back in the news. Read how more than ever radio airplay is not determined by you, creativity, inspiration, nor musical genius, but by the big green. More reasons to try xm?
This evening 20/20 broadcast a report on the new payola.Names are named. This explains a lot about the current state of music radio. Ironically, one of those complaining the loudest was good ol' Hilary Rosen of the RIAA who are doing their damnedest to destroy internet radio, along with college and public radio, the only alternative to the institutional corruption she decries. But in this case, she's on the side of the angels, it would seem. This report is timely though and does illustrate what's wrong with concentrating media power in too few hands.
Payola exposed - for those not "in the know" - if you're wondering why radio sucks so much, this LA Times article is the answer. The concept of Payola is nothing new - it's a long-talked about means of record companies getting radio stations to shove their chosen music down our throats twenty times in the course of a day. It was reported recently, however, that some incriminating documents were uncovered, finally confirming that ALL of the major record company conglomerates are involved in this scam!
Plastic is dangling carrots in front of users, but my first thought is "ewww." Many successful communities have feedback mechanisms, but is a monetary one the best choice? Is this a good way to encourage high quality posts at Plastic, or does it seem like they're trying to create an instant community for $150?