Sponsored content on local news is a problem, and John Oliver has proven why.
On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” the host addressed the problem with companies paying trusted local stations to air sponsored segments rife with falsehoods and misinformation.
To demonstrate just how easy it is, Oliver got in on the action himself.
“We started a company called Venus Inventions, and created something called the Venus Veil, an absurd medical product based on technology that absolutely does not exist,” Oliver said, according to Yahoo! Entertainment. “We set up this website, and even hired an actress to brandigrate the s**t out of the Venus Veil into shows it had no business being on.”
Probably won't stay up (without a massive retraction ?) much longer:https://t.co/ZGL49dF00n
— Josh Marsh (@lolelectronics) May 24, 2021
In segment, which aired on a ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, the hired actress talked up the Venus Veil’s sexual wellness properties, despite it just being a normal blanket.
“The Veil is being designed with the hope that it will precisely draw out the natural alkaline undercurrents of the vagina, and initiate a low-grade state of what we call micro-death, which sounds incredibly scary, but that’s actually just restarting that area’s natural life cycle,” the actress said. “It’s using this field of magneto-genetics I was talking about, and also a technology that’s been around for a really long time that was pioneered in Germany about 80 years ago. So this is full of cutting-edge technology, but it just looks like a blanket.”
The actress made appearances on several more stations, which only cost Oliver between $1,750 and $3,000 per segment.
“So to the owners of these stations who are selling them out at a depressingly cheap price, I have a simple question,” Oliver said. “If I may quote the words of a very wise news anchor: ‘The f**k are you doing?’”