John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Media and PR Industry watchdog group, the Center for Media & Democracy (CMD), just might be a modern-day David. And with one stone, he just may have delivered a fatal blow against an industry. In response to a joint complaint by the CMD and the Free Press, the FCC has levied the first ever fine for "fake news." All things considered... in PR?!, THAT'S HUGE!
Specifically, the FCC is fining Comcast for the use of a video news release (VNR) without disclosure. A video news release is a popular PR tactic. A sponsored video sets out to mimic actual news reports and is offered to broadcasting stations for free. In this instance, the cable company had aired a pitch for a sleep aid without telling viewers that the spot was financed by the maker of the product.