A company seeking interview subjects for a program that it says will air on the FOX Business Channel has initiated a new “pay-to-play” media opportunity campaign targeting orthodontists.

As has been the case with past programs of this nature, the salesperson may contact your office and ask to speak to you about a possible interview for a health-related TV show. If you accept the call, the initial dialogue with the company may be lengthy and the representative may pressure you to sign a contract almost immediately. There could be insinuations that the offer must be acted upon quickly or it will be withdrawn and/or offered to a competitor.

The caller may not reveal that there are costs involved or may avoid responding with straightforward information about costs when asked to do so.  With these types of situations, costs often range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

Legitimate news organizations do not expect people they interview to pay for the interview, its production costs, or air time, nor do they expect those interviewed to sign a contract.

While many AAO members may have no interest in paying the hefty price tag, others may determine that a “pay-to-play” media opportunity is a desirable marketing option for their practice. If you feel this is an option you want to pursue, make sure you know about any financial or legal obligations up front.  You can also ask the representative to provide:

  • The name and URL of the media outlet they represent;
  • The day(s) and time(s) the interview will air
  • The station(s) or websites that will air the interview;
  • All fees associated with the opportunity.

You may also wish to ask if you will be able to use the video for your own purposes if you contract for interview production.  However, if you are interested primarily in video production, it may be less expensive to hire your own video production company.

If you receive a questionable “media” call, you are welcome to refer the caller to the AAO.  You may also contact AAO staff with questions or concerns about “pay to play” media opportunities:

Pam Paladin
Marketing and Member/Consumer Relations Manager
800-424-2841, Ext. 524