PBS Peddles “The Happy Client”

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From the world of marketing comes a story of something clever (though we find it hard to believe it hasn’t been done countless times before): from the Boston Herald, by way of AdFreak,we found this story that local PBS affiliate, WGBH, put together a children’s book to send to clients entitled “The Happy Client,” which follows a hand drawn media buyer through the adventure of why it’s so great to buy into the PBS brand. Though not everyone sees it as a good thing, this little mailer:

Robert Weissman, managing director of the Washington, D.C., activist group Commercial Alert, said the book is a sign of PBS’ mission eroding. “It sounds like this product is a further weakening of its noncommercial status,” he said.

The charge has been leveled against PBS before. Stations like WGBH have been stepping up their efforts to attract corporate sponsors, while simultaneously clinging to their noncommercial identity.

Weissman said PBS stations should be spending more time and money trying to increase government funding and soliciting public contributions.