US broadcast regulator says “sponsorship” of news should be disclosed

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 16 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e448
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The US regulator of broadcasting has called for greater disclosure of the use of unacknowledged corporate placement of “news” stories on television broadcasts, a practice widely used by hospitals to promote their products and services.

The US Federal Communications Commission says that the practice, called “pay for play,” involves a business or other interest providing some or all of the video and reporting in a story, which the station uses as part of its newscast. The company may simply make the material available for free, pay for its placement, or purchase advertising as part of a package deal.

The commission says …

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