Could TV casting scams hurt reputable PR firms?

Agencies that promise placements on the Oprah Winfrey Network and ‘The Rachael Ray Show’ in exchange for thousands of dollars don’t represent PR as a whole, but not everyone realizes that.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Not everyone is in the know, however. Take, for example, the nine people who have complained to the Better Business Bureau about Champion Media Worldwide, an Illinois firm that promises appearances on “Today,” “The Rachael Ray Show,” CNN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and other shows and networks.

A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter fielded a call from Champion Media saying it would cost $700 per interview, or perhaps per training session, to hire the firm. When the Journal Sentinel asked for comment, the firm’s founder and CEO said, “We regularly get our clients on TV.”

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, says that’s almost certainly not true.

“The reality is that there are very few legit PR firms who offer guaranteed placement on ‘Oprah,'” he says. “It’s quite simple. We can’t guarantee placement on ‘Oprah,’ and anyone who tells you otherwise is someone to run away from.”

Robert Holland of Holland Communication Solutions agrees that Champion’s offer is pretty clearly a scam.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.