Broadcast scam preys on industry

SAN FRANCISCO: A new scam has had PR execs up in arms: bogus broadcast production companies posing as network-affiliated news or feature programming.

SAN FRANCISCO: A new scam has had PR execs up in arms: bogus broadcast production companies posing as network-affiliated news or feature programming.

SAN FRANCISCO: A new scam has had PR execs up in arms: bogus broadcast production companies posing as network-affiliated news or feature programming.

CEOs are being sold 'unique opportunities' to appear on a CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo or HGTV show by production company reps who approach the PR firms.

After the CEO has given up an hour of his time for a pre-interview, however, he is told it will cost between dollars 8,000-dollars 100,000 for the appearance and press materials.

Among numerous examples cited to PRWeek, Deana Lee at Ruder-Finn/San Francisco was recently approached by a rep from Platinum TV, claiming an HGTV show called New Home Journal wanted to feature her client. 'When I asked if there were any costs involved, I was told no,' said Lee. 'But after his pre-interview, he was told it would cost dollars 10,000.'

Platinum TV denied misrepresentation. 'We are always up-front about the fact that we are charging licensing fees,' said media relations rep Todd Miles.

HGTV PR director Emily Yarborough said the network had received several complaints about Platinum and emphasized that HGTV had 'no affiliation' with the show.

Another example is BATV's Business Now, whose COO Helen Feinbloom said she 'doesn't give a rat's ass what the PR firms think' about BATV's fees.

'We talk to the CEO, and he is the one to sign the agreement.'



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