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Apple pays tech guru $15,000 to talk about iPod

updated 10:00 am EDT, Wed April 20, 2005

Apple buying \'news\'?

Apple and other companies paid NBC Today show tech editor Corey Greenberg up to $15,000 to talk about their products on news shows, according to The Washington Post. Greenberg talked up Apple's iPod last July, calling it "a great portable musical player... the coolest-looking one;" however, while NBC officials denied any knowledge of the financial relationship, Greenberg confirmed that he , Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Seiko Epson, Creative Technology and Energizer Holdings. He, however, said that he didn't accept payments for placements on NBC News, but on affiliate news shows, the manufacturers hired him as "a spokesperson who could talk credibly and understandably about consumer products," rather than to speak positively about their products. Ironically, during last July's Today appearance, Greenberg was cut off by a co-host Matt Lauer who said "Let's cut the Apple commercial here right now, okay?"

The report says that Greenberg also appeared last month on Sunday Today to talk about Apple's iPhoto book printing service and that he has also appeared several times on CNBC, where he talked about Apple and Creative music products as well as Apple's iPod Photo. A CNBC spokeswoman said that the policies have been tightened that in the future editors would not allowed to talk about products/companies from whom they were receiving payments.

Despite the potential for abuse and/or a conflict of interest, at least one NBC executive seemed to acknowledge the financiaal relationships as commonplace: "This is a way of doing business for these people," said one NBC official who declined to be identified because the network would not let executives talk to the media. "It's hard to find a contributor who doesn't have a connection to one of these things."




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hey, why not

    If the news organizations can do it for the GOP, why not everyone else!

  1. scottschor

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple pays tech guru $15

    >>>Apple pays tech guru $15,000 to talk about iPod

    Oh my gosh ... heavens to mergatroid ... the sky is falling ...

    this doesn't happen with microsoft, does it? ... hmmm? ... I don't think it happens with the Bush administration either ...

    bad apple ;~~~

  1. tonewheel

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Matt Lauer

    Loser Boy. Wasn't he that "hip" newsguy on MTV before he got the crewcut and joined one of those pathetic morning shows that suburban Moms watch?

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is bad for all of us

    Put your Mac enthusiasm in check for one second and think different. When companies "hire" journalists and other "experts" to appear on TV as unbiased voices and give (a sadly increasing more gullible society) nothing more than a sales pitch it undermines some pretty basic principles like honesty, fairness and disclosure. The worst part of this "expert for pay" trend is that it is prevalent in our government's overworked propaganda machine. We all need to believe and trust the voice of authority but time and again schemes like these prove we can't turn our heads (off) for a minute. Wake up folks everything on TV is a commercial.

  1. Gabriel Morales

    Joined:

    0

    Unethical conduct...

    While I think Apple is being unfairly pointed out here, in general this type of behavior should not be allowed or tolerated from those who would call themselves journalists. It's disappointing to hear that this is a common practice.

    Just one more reason not to trust our media, even though they should be our line of defense against cover ups and secrecy.

  1. brianniles

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Why Does Apple ...

    Why does apple feel like they need to do this? I would think the market has already figure it out that Apple iPods and the like are pretty damn cool already. If you have to pay someone to say so, then you should probably go back to the drawing board. Apple doesn't have to.

  1. mouseketter

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    NBC and Micosoft

    I notice when NBC mentions anything finical or in regards to MSNBC, such as showing the daily stock market reports, they always show 3 Microsoft logos. MSNBC with the MS a different color and 2 font point sizes bigger. The general Microsoft corporate logo and that MSN with the g** flag butterfly logo.

    Gee... when is Matt Lauer going to ask to stop the Microsoft commercial.

  1. iChick

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Matt Lauer

    "Greenberg was cut off by a co-host Matt Lauer who said "Let's cut the Apple commercial here right now, okay?" "

    This is from Matt Lauer aka DNC Poster Boy.

  1. kerryb

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Not just news shows

    I recall the evening before the big launch of the Xbox during an episode of Will & Grace on (MS)NBC, one of the characters in the final scene enters the bedroom of a teenager that just happens to be playing with an Xbox system. The characters make a big fuss about the Xbox and the episode ends. Minutes later there is an announcement that NBC morning show (whatever it is called) will be covering the Xbox release event at Rockefeller Center. Product placement is not new but having a sit-com's characters "sell" product owned by the mother company is insulting.

  1. gurman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Nice catch, Matt

    There's nothing wrong with flacks flacking, nor even product placement (how many times have you seen Apple products on TV and in movies, even if they had the Apple logo covered up?), as long as it's clear that that's what you're watching. If informercials have to have crawls identifying them as such, why not the same for paid flacks and product placements for which the vendor paid? That would be truth in advertising, right? ".... Mr. Greenberg is paid by Apple Computer to make favorable remarks about their consumer products...." "....The game console shown here is produced by the corporate entity that owns this network...." Kind of like pop-up videos.

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