Re: Let Us Judge

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A tweet from JM today in the middle of complaining bitterly about some issue with Expedia:

On bright side, @Expedia prob will provide epic launch for new TPMTravelWebsiteFraudRaker Vertical. So there's that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:29 PM
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I would love to comment on this, but the Idealab section is completely broken on my phone (and SFAICT) the main TPM site no longer has a "show me the desktop version" link. Both of which are inexcusable in 2014.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:32 PM
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2: Lately, TPM seems to be leading the way in effed up autoplay ads and Shockwave crashes for me. I prefer to browse through Tweetdeck very quickly clicking on anything that looks interesting, and then read the many open tabs when I can get to them. Two or three TPM windows in the mix and I tend to run into issues.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 10:41 PM
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I think this is a bad idea and Witt and Alex are right but at the same time it's pretty clearly not astroturfing. For the concept to have any meaning, it shouldn't include explicitly sponsored content. Astroturfing exists to get around explicit sponsorship.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 11:07 PM
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Because what's really important here is the meaning of the word "astroturf", I guess.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 11:08 PM
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What Alex has identified as hugely important is the fact that search engines treat this just like real content. This is absolutely key, and JMM needs to answer why that's okay. (Because he could obviously have it non indexed.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 11:17 PM
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I think TPM has been trying to go to a responsive design, but there's so much ad-tracking shit it's not very responsive, page-load wise. In the narrow view on a phone I don't think you're supposed to see some of stuff that goes on in the sidebars and if it's really responsive then there wouldn't be a desktop view.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-29-14 11:25 PM
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When I load TPM on my phone now, I can't actually read any of the articles. Clicking the links on the front page does nothing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 2:24 AM
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I read the PhRMA article on my phone and had no idea it was sponsored until I went to the real site a few hours later and saw that it had a box around it. I didn't notice anything setting it apart in the mobile view and thought it was a real article.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 4:42 AM
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Its unfortunate fact that journalists need money to live on, and this kind of shit is what pays the bills. Yes, it is qualitatively different from a banner ad, but it probably brings in a lot more revenue as well.

I think perhaps some typeface tinkering and better labeling would be in order ( "A TPM project presented by PhRMA "- what the fuck does that even mean?), but I would be hard pressed to say he should stop doing this entirely. The alternative would be for TPM to go paywalled and I don't think anybody wants to see that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 5:18 AM
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10.last: and, indeed, nobody would, perhaps defeating the purpose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 5:23 AM
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TPM Idealab is still a pretty useful source of news. I never would have heard of exploding salt licks without it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 5:24 AM
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What if you mounted the exploding salt lick on a drone, I wonder?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 6:02 AM
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Witt gets it so right, the only thing I can add is that giving freebies to doctors influences decisions, but even worse, funding research like clinical trials also influences outcomes. 85% positive outcome for industry-funded, 50% positive for government-funded. I think that's even more damning.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 7:51 AM
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It is and it isn't. I'm no expert on this, but I would expect that the green eyeshade types in any large corporation are going to be a lot more interested in funding trials for compounds they think have a pretty strong chance of working out. I'm not denying the incentive to bend results (or find a reason to disregard warning signs in compounds where tons of money have been invested), not at all. But the bosses would think something was pretty deeply wrong with the selection process of they couldn't do better than 50% positive outcomes.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:09 AM
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15 assumes there's a way to meaningfully have that prior knowledge about whether things will work out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:12 AM
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Since otherwise all you're really saying is that the bosses are pushing for clinical trials to come out the right way, which, well yeah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:18 AM
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Thanks, Ogged!

14: Wow, that linked article is amazing.

To guard against this risk, researchers invented the systematic review.... [I]n essence a systematic review is simple: instead of just mooching through the research literature, consciously or unconsciously picking out papers here and there that support your pre-existing beliefs, you take a scientific, systematic approach to the very process of looking for scientific evidence, ensuring that your evidence is as complete and representative as possible of all the research that has ever been done.
Systematic reviews are very, very onerous. In 2003, by coincidence, two were published, both looking specifically at the question we're interested in. They took all the studies ever published that looked at whether industry funding is associated with pro-industry results. Each took a slightly different approach to finding research papers, and both found that industry-funded trials were, overall, about four times more likely to report positive results.
A further review in 2007 looked at the new studies that had been published in the four years after these two earlier reviews: it found twenty more pieces of work, and all but two showed that industry sponsored trials were more likely to report flattering results.

Emphasis mine.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:19 AM
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8: Same here. It seems to relate to their mobile site, because I eventually found that Android Chrome's "request desktop version" option makes it visible.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:27 AM
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15: But there's the same incentive, or at least the same direction incentive, for government funded research -- they're not testing shit at random, they're also trying to find useful drugs. If privately funded clinical trials are much more likely to get positive results than government funded trials, we're either in the "profit motive is mystically more effective than other motives at making people do their jobs effectively" world, or there are shenanigans going on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:30 AM
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16 -- They should have a better idea than they do about a coin toss.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:31 AM
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Charley, no one wants to fund a trial that they think will fail. They're a huge investment of time and money for both the funder and the researchers involved. There's a huge incentive to get a new drug to market, both financial and in terms of actually helping people. I would guess the big difference between industry funded and government funded is probably the expected profits, not chance of success. Here's data on failure rates for clinical trials. Phase II (efficacy) has about a 41% success rate. Even the best in the business get it wrong more than they get it right. If there were a better way to predict winners, it would be good for everyone.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:33 AM
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20 -- Same direction, sure, but one would expect the internal economic criteria on the selection side to be different.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:34 AM
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22 -- I'm discounting completely the 'helping people' motive on the privately funded side. Even setting profitability aside, one would/should expect the thresholds for whether to go ahead to be higher on the private side.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:38 AM
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23: By internal economic criteria, you mean that the profit motive should be expected to make privately funded researchers legitimately much more effective in selecting effective drug candidates than governmentally funded researchers? Because that sounds unlikely to me, but I'm not seeing what else you could mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:39 AM
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20: It could also be that industry is more risk-averse than government. Industry might be funding trials of compounds that are promising and already somewhat understood, whereas government is funding more exploratory trials that are high-risk and high-reward.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:41 AM
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Charley, I'd think it's at least as likely to have the opposite effect -- certainly I've experienced many times in my life how the need for profit can make people much less good at gauging risks/odds.

It's endemic in the nonprofit field -- people are constantly over-optimistic about the chances that XYZ project will be successful, because they want to believe they'll hit the revenue target that the project represents.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:43 AM
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21: why?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:47 AM
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24: When pharma funds a trial, the trial is often run by med school professors. The motive for the people running the trial is (1) get more funding for their research (2) help people. My cynicism doesn't extend as far as thinking that the MDs don't care whether their patients on trial get better, only whether they'll get more money. As far as I know, there aren't contract companies that run Phase II or III trials, although maybe there are. The incentive of receiving further funding is true for federally funded researchers, too, since having a track record of success makes them more likely to be funded again, although the scale is different.

As far as thresholds to continue, I think the sunk cost fallacy applies to pharma, too. It's hard to walk away from a project that's cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Maybe someone's career depends on getting their drug through to FDA submission. I think there are plenty of incentives to move a drug forward even if the data aren't as perfect as they could be. (What 27.2 says, on refresh.)


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:52 AM
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I would actually predict the opposite; in a coin toss a uniform distribution of possible outcomes gives you 50% heads. In drug discovery a uniform distribution of possible efficacy across all the potential formulations would seem to give you a vanishingly tiny possibility of ever finding something workable. Obviously a lot more is known than that by the time things get to a clinical trial, but given the prior chance of failure -- especially with a methodology as rigorous as a clinical trial -- 50% strikes me as a rather impressive hit rate.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:53 AM
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The first 6 words of 30, pwned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:53 AM
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14 looks superficially damning but I wonder about the denominators. This is surveying published research. I could imagine that what people are inclined to do with negative results could differ depending on their funding source. So it would be nice to see the percentage of successful outcomes among all trials undertaken rather than all published trials, although I guess that information would be harder to come by.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:00 AM
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It's always a gamble. I'm guessing that there are two things you have to tell the corporate people with the money to get them to give you the money: (1) if we win the bet, we'll make buckets of money; and (2) odds are not so bad here that we can win the bet. We all agree that item (1) is completely necessary for privately funded work. What I'm guessing is that there's a threshold in (2) where the guy at the corporation says 'we don't think the odds are good enough to make this bet -- why don't you see if you can get some government funding for your project. As there should be: government ought to be funding research that (a) might help a lot of people and (b) isn't being done by the for-profit sector (for reasons (1) and/or (2)).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:03 AM
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I'm not disagreeing with anything in 27 or 29. Alls I'm saying is that at the margin, one should expect the feds to be funding things that private industry won't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:05 AM
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32 is a good point. If it's a typical arrangement, ability to publish is negotiated in the initial legal agreements. Frequently, the company has final approval on content, but the folks running the study usually want to publish. There might be a long delay while the company decides whether the project is truly dead or whether they can maybe find a subpopulation or related application where the drug will work. AFAIK, there's not info about how often trial data doesn't get published, but I'd guess that it's not that often unless it's not an academic partnership. Getting access to the full clinical trial info is actually a topic of contention, the subject of the PhRMA advertorial in TPM.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:24 AM
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Essear's point reminds me of a thing from my prior life. My old firm used to have periodic efforts to inform people in the firm about what other people were doing. In the pre-internet age, this was really the only way that partner X in office A would know to tell a client that partner Y in office B had dealt with a similar issue to the one the client was facing, and so the client should hire us, rather than our competitors. (Or better, partner X would know to ask about the kind of issue faced by partner Y.)

As a mid level assoc, I got appointed to the newsletter committee, tasked with hunting out stories we could publish. And darned if we didn't win every single one the cases anyone would tell me about. I complained about this -- observing that the newsletter was going to be internal, and even less successful efforts had value as background for marketing. To no avail.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:28 AM
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Isn't the 32 the explanation? It's certainly the explanation that I've seen advanced by critics of pharma.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 10:01 AM
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Huh. I just went over to TPM and observe that the new TPM Idealab thing is blaringly highlighted (in reverse: white text on a black background) over in the right sidebar with the opening blurb up at the top reading "You can't argue with science." TPM Idealab shows 3 articles; Idealab: Impact -- sponsored by PhRMA -- shows just the one thus far, the one written by PhRMA.

"You can't argue with science." You know, even aside from whether TPM's editorial staff will be influenced by corporate/lobbyist money, the appearance of endorsement of the PhRMA content (science! you can't argue!) couldn't be more blatant.

Hasn't print media for a very long time grappled with the question whether it should or will accept advertising monies regardless of the advertiser's policy position? I recall Harper's magazine fretting about this from time to time, having run full-page ads from bad people every once in a while and catching a lot of flak for it. I'm not seeing anything on their current position. I imagine, though, that there are (at least?) two clear practices in the media world on this: yes, we will do that, along with disclaimer; and no, we won't. Surely those who've adopted the latter position have things to say about it. I guess I'm a little surprised that Marshall hasn't spoken to the question in that larger context.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 11:53 AM
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I understand the doctrine that if you accept ads, you should accept them regardless, as after all not everyone agrees with your judgement, analogous to the doctrine that a hotel can't turn away guests for being black. I don't agree with it, which is why I don't read Jim Henley's blog.

But TPM isn't just accepting ads from anyone who fronts up cash. They're inserting stuff as indistinguishable from news in an important way.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:28 PM
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Wait, Unqualified Offerings is running ads? Since when?
I mostly don't read Jim Henley's blog because he doesn't post there anymore.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:34 PM
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This is surveying published research. I could imagine that what people are inclined to do with negative results could differ depending on their funding source. So it would be nice to see the percentage of successful outcomes among all trials undertaken rather than all published trials, although I guess that information would be harder to come by.

Isn't this exactly what 14 is saying? That because we don't require negative results to be published, we have no idea how many trials it took to get the one that the drug company published?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:36 PM
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41: I was supposed to follow the link? This blog-commenting thing is getting arduous these days.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:46 PM
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I still read Jim Henley's blog but get annoyed because Thoreau either writes about things I don't care about or writes about things I care a lot about and gets them wrong. Not long ago I wrote a long comment there explaining why one of his posts on dark matter was ill-informed, but it got held for moderation and he never okayed it, so I guess he isn't interested in correcting things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:47 PM
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39: God knows what the contract terms between TPM and PhRMA are, and how long they last: it may be too late for Marshall to change the way the PhRMA stuff is presented. Like, say, by putting "Paid Advertisement!" at the top, middle, and bottom of PhRMA pieces. As many have noted, "sponsored content" is unclear to a lot of people, a weasel word. It's possible that the contract specifically says that that term must be used over, say, "Advertisement!"

Other thoughts: this would be a terrific time for TPM to demonstrate its editorial independence by putting up a piece dissecting and questioning the narrative pushed by the current PhRMA piece. Henry's done the legwork already. He could just guest post, or allow himself to be linked and quoted at length.

What are the chances Josh would do that?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 12:52 PM
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Continuing 44.last: I mean to ask: Does anyone have any idea what contracts for this sort of Sponsorship tend to look like? Is there, mayhap, a standard clause according to which the media enterprise in question -- TPM, here -- agrees to say nothing one way or the other about the content of the ad sponsored content? This could be put benignly as a sort of mutual ignore policy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 1:06 PM
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Okay, JMM asserts asserts in one of the CT threads:

They don't have any say whatsoever over the content. They run ads against the content. As part of their sponsorship roughly every three weeks (the schedule is a bit more compressed since we launched later in the year than we originally intended) we run one of their articles, very clearly labeled as such. We don't tell them what to say, they don't tell us what to say. This is a conventional sponsor relationship.

I'd like to see a TPM piece assessing the PhRMA ad's narrative, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 1:23 PM
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Hasn't print media for a very long time grappled with the question whether it should or will accept advertising monies regardless of the advertiser's policy position? I recall Harper's magazine fretting about this from time to time, having run full-page ads from bad people every once in a while and catching a lot of flak for it. I'm not seeing anything on their current position. I imagine, though, that there are (at least?) two clear practices in the media world on this: yes, we will do that, along with disclaimer; and no, we won't. Surely those who've adopted the latter position have things to say about it. I guess I'm a little surprised that Marshall hasn't spoken to the question in that larger context.

He has, and he has long come down firmly on the "yes" side:

Advertisers, by definition have interests and agendas. We know that. And the bulk of our advertisers have clear policy agendas and arguments to make about the role they play in Washington and the country at large. This is why we've had a clear and publicly stated policy going back more than a decade explaining why we do not accept or reject ads on the basis of political content or message.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 2:34 PM
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It's easy for me to say, as someone who has always worked for publications overwhelmingly (and now entirely) funded by subscriptions, but I'm not at all comfortable with advertorial. I don't even like the US radio and now podcasting norm of having hosts read out advertiser copy. The only reason for an advertiser to do either of these things is to imply (or often in the latter case to explicit obtain) endorsement of the content. You can't possibly maintain a bright line between editorial and advertising (which is hard enough at the best of times) if you have advertising masquerading as editorial.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 2:48 PM
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I just spent the evening with a petroleum engineer. He kept getting calls. Apparently there was a problem on the rig with some piece of equipment that had been chewed up by a piece of ferrous material that somehow went down the hole.

At one point, he lit a cigar with a flaming $100 bill.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 8:54 PM
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You try lighting a cigar with a non-flaming $100 bill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:16 PM
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It's pretty easy actually. You give someone the $100 and say "light my cigar."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:22 PM
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Yeah, but how do you stop them from just stealing your $100 bill?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:23 PM
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Or thinking you're asking for a blow job?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:26 PM
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I guess this is the sort of thing you learn in petroleum engineering school.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:30 PM
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That's a risk you might have to take.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:32 PM
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The best cigars are lit by smoldering $100 bills.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-30-14 9:37 PM
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I don't even like the US radio and now podcasting norm of having hosts read out advertiser copy. The only reason for an advertiser to do either of these things is to imply (or often in the latter case to explicit obtain) endorsement of the content.

I have the feeling this is something that happens in every country in the world other than the one that has the BBC, but I'm not positive about that.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 5:25 AM
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I have the feeling this is something that happens in every country in the world other than the one that has the BBC,

It doesn't happen on commercial radio either in the UK and it doesn't generally happen on TV even in the US. I'll grant I don't listen to a lot of French radio but I've never noticed it when I have.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 5:56 AM
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Someone recently mentioned the quote from Jesse Unruh regarding the California Legislature, but I don't think it was in the context of JMM and TPM:

"If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them, you have no business being up here."

Everything everybody says above is correct, but journalists gotta eat, and some of them want to get rich. Marshall has sold a bit of his credibility here, but he still retains a lot.

Greenwald, Klein, Silver, etc, are all getting funded by people with interests that don't necessarily match the journalistic imperative, and so they'll have to be watched. It'll be interesting to learn the degree to which JMM's business model depends on credibility, and also interesting to find out how much of it he's willing to undermine.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 6:15 AM
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Does anyone have any idea what contracts for this sort of Sponsorship tend to look like? Is there, mayhap, a standard clause according to which the media enterprise in question -- TPM, here -- agrees to say nothing one way or the other about the content of the ad sponsored content?

An insider writes: no, absolutely not. There's no obligation, if you're accepting an ad from BAE Systems, not to be rude about the CVF carrier project. There's not even an obligation, if the ad says "Look how great CVF is! On time and on budget!" not to run an article in the same issue saying "CVF is four years late and £3 billion over budget, despite what BAE says". Normally the sponsors are so late with getting their copy in that you only get it the day you go to press, so it's too late to alter stuff by then anyway.

What the sponsors will have is advance notice of roughly the sort of thing you're going to write about. If you're planning a big supplement on aircraft carriers, you'll know weeks or months in advance, and your sales guys will be going out to NG and BAE and so on asking if they want to run sponsored content (or indeed just adverts) in the supplement. But all the sales guys and the sponsors know is "we're doing an aircraft carrier supplement" - they won't know, in advance, exactly what is going into it.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 6:40 AM
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57: the BBC doesn't let its employees do this kind of thing even outside the programme they're presenting. If Jeremy Clarkson agreed to do a voiceover for a car ad, Auntie would sack him.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 6:41 AM
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Oh, and to clarify, I'm not talking about VO work, or even celebrity endorsements (although as ajay suggests that brings its own ethical considerations). I'm talking about hosts of a radio show (or podcast) literally reading the copy an advert during the show they host. Or possibly coming up with their own riff on the copy, but still very much the people who would otherwise be, say, updating you on the baseball game, reading out an advert.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:02 AM
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The thing in 62 is vaguely old timey; I associate it with am radio. But if Vin Scully does it, it can't be wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:31 AM
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Howard Stern used to do it, as well, memorably for Snapple, though he later took the position that Snapple sucks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:33 AM
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To indicate how standards differ, since the fifties the Classical music station in Chicago, WFMT, has made a point of touting its "announcer-read" advertizing, as being less jarring and annoying than a cut in commercial. Until about ten years ago there was a second commercial Classical station which did permit canned ads, although they had a lot of announcer-read also.

When there was a crisis at WFMT, about 15 years ago now, local figures such as liberal stalwart Tom Geohagen were behind an effort to fight the introduction of canned ads. Solidarity Forever!

WFMT is now amalgamated with the local PBS station, and despite always taking ads, has frequent pledge drives, to preserve programming priorities and of course, the all-important announcer-read advertizing.

So great is the local prestige of announcer-read that when the alternative album Rock station WXRT began in the 70s, it also had announcer-read, to show a serious and highbrow approach to Rock.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:41 AM
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I've always believed that Garrison Keillor was in the tank for Powdermilk Biscuits.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:44 AM
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I have no objection to announcer read ads as long as it's not something that directly impacts the content of the show. The ads for Just Coffee on the WTF podcast really don't have much of a chance of affecting the interview. OTOH if it's a news show things are wide open and the potential is always there for distortions. Personally I'd rather see a news show/blog/etc accept ads from (e.g.) PhRMA and just say up front: "Due to our sponsorship by the pharmaceutical industry we do not cover issues related to that industry." IOW be bought honestly.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:50 AM
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It's not even necessarily the content of the show that I worry about, though obviously in some contexts (eg TPM) that is an issue. It's not likely that I'm missing out on some hardhitting podcast reportage on Stamps.com because of their sponsorship, but it does make me think less of the podcast hosts, and thus reduce my enjoyment of the that they're willing to play along with this game and basically sell their credibility to the highest bidder.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:56 AM
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Normally the sponsors are so late with getting their copy in that you only get it the day you go to press, so it's too late to alter stuff by then anyway.

Nutrax for Nerves!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 11:45 AM
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Early TV was all live, and I believe the actors of whatever show it was were expected to actually perform the ads.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 11:49 AM
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I think 59 comes close to my position. This is certainly regrettable and indicative of a path chosen. But it is definitely not the leading factor in why I might take things on TPM with a grain of salt in general. In our current media/political environment, being able to pay for what it takes to be a national political media player at even a small level involves a lot of choices that will be reflected in the end product.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 1:53 PM
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Further to 59, I suspect a significant takeaway in the industry from the media run up to the Iraq War is that you can get it right and win all the prizes but not 'succeed." In a more sane world a Knight-Ridder DC-based paper would have become our national political paper of record. (They* also got it much more right than others on the Swift Boat thing with some widely-ignored reporting.)

*They might have been McClatchy by then.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 1:57 PM
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60: Thanks, ajay. There would be no obstacle, then, to TPM putting up an article questioning the PhRMA piece, other than the possibility that they'd lose their renewal sponsorship.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-14 7:22 PM
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Posted by: Tailor Industries | Link to this comment | 08-11-17 1:03 PM
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