October 29th, 2004
Coming Episodes of 'Control Freak' on MTV2 Don't Have Commercials But They Do Pitch Lee Jeans
By Stuart Elliott
The New York Times
Here is a riddle from the brave new world of branded entertainment: When is a TV program that is billed as commercial-free not commercial-free? When a six-minute sponsored segment is part of the show.
But such intermingling of entertainment and peddling, as artful as it may be, can confuse, annoy or alienate consumers. The members of Commercial Alert, an advocacy organization, have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for stricter regulation of branded entertainment, denouncing it as ‘’stealth advertising’’ and demanding that advisories appear during any programs that display products provided by paid sponsors.