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When self-serving endorsements get plug-ugly

/ 10:30 PM May 17, 2013

Our recent satirical piece on radio-TV hosts’ sins of omission and commission has prompted requests for more “reminders” for local broadcast personalities to improve their often sluggish and irresponsible work. —We thought you’d never ask:

One common practice or malpractice that irritates the heck out of viewers is program hosts’ penchant for plugging all sorts of “exchange-deal” products and services that they avail of, free of charge—hair and makeup, clothes, shoes, accessories, eyewear, beauty treatment, spas, dental work, watches, kitchen renovation, family vacations—etc.!

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Why, one really cheapskate host even had the gall recently to plug her offspring’s wedding’s catering service and honeymoon “sponsors”! As a cynical wag put it, “Why don’t they thank sponsors even for their underwear, deodorant and their kids’ educational plans and be done with it?!” —The answer to that churlish question, of course, is that there are limits even to freeloading!

 

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That’s why it’s a good thing that ABS-CBN prohibits its news on-cam talents to do commercials that endorse and advertise products and services. Some other radio-TV organizations don’t impose such caveats, so viewers are subjected to the depressing sight of otherwise respectable news anchors singing the praises of their preferred brands of vinegar, soaps, alternative medicines and such. These eager endorsers take years to build up their reputation for objectivity and probity, only to lower the public’s regard for their good judgment in this thoughtless wise.

Some radio personalities similarly betray their lack of professionalism when they report for work late, or clearly unprepared. Their program’s theme songs are played over and over again as their august and “belated” presence is impatiently awaited, and listeners’ time is wasted on a monumental scale.

To add injury to perjury, when the program hosts finally arrive, they then proceed to waste even more time with their lazy, knee-jerk and unthinking opinions about anything and everything under the sun. They get their facts wrong, mistake this newsmaker for somebody else, get one government office mixed up with another—with blissful impunity!

Mystery celebrity

Also evident is their inability to appreciate the value of their listeners’ collective time. Some “name” radio-TV people waste an entire half hour of program time on a “game” inviting listeners to guess the identity of a mystery celebrity, while others endlessly push listeners to buy a “wonder” product that promises to cure everything from A (Alopecia) to Z (Zanzibar Rot)—!

Most notorious of all is the host of a “health and wealth” show that features something like 10 “alternative” products and services, and every one of them is clearly an unabashed sponsored feature.

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We trust that the hapless people who listen to the program are smart enough to realize that they’re being hoodwinked every step of the way, and take the program’s endorsements with a pound of salt.

—They aren’t? Woe is us!

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