Channel One News Hall of Shame (Jan 1999): “Millennium Minute” To “Creatively Integrate Your Brand” With the News

September 6, 2018
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“Teach the news” is Channel One’s latest slogan. Channel One has rolled out this slogan and hired new people and reassigned people in an attempt to look like an educational company as opposed to the corporate child predator that it is.

Channel One’s “news” is secondary to its commercials and their newest campaign confirms it. Channel One is now urging advertisers to sign up for its “Millennium Minute.” This is a 60-second block of Channel One News that is devoted to technology issues for 30 seconds and the other 30 seconds to an advertiser’s product.

As Channel One states in its new sales literature: “Now there’s a way to enhance your teen targeted message with a high-impact on-air program.”

“‘Millennium Minute’ vignettes explore a wide variety of technological advances that will have a significant impact on Channel One teens. Some have already enriched teens’ lives and others will offer a glimpse of tomorrow’s possibilities.”

“Channel One vignettes – exceptional opportunities to deliver your brand message in an energized environment created expressly for teen viewers you need to be targeting.”

“Channel One has designed a vignette series to creatively integrate your brand messages with teen-relevant technology issues. :60 vignettes contain :30 editorial content and :30 of your commercial message. You can include an 800 number and website address to encourage viewer response to receive your product samples or coupons.”

This violates Channel One’s own news standards (we use “standards” very loosely with Channel One). This sales gimmick can easily blur the lines between editorial content and the commercials. Where is the news producer? Is everyone in this marketing company nothing more than shameless hucksters?

Dr. Paul Folkemer, Channel One’s VP Education, says he approves all ads. He has either approved this “ads integrated into the news” gimmick or he thought it up himself. Either way “teaching the news” looks more and more like a hollow PR slogan.

Folkemer and company have at least two other “vignette” news/ad combinations. “Sports Wrap” and “Weekend to Go”

From the “Weekend to Go” sales literature: “Channel One has designed a vignette series to creatively integrate your brand messages with teen-relevant entertainment news.” That statement says it all. Why waste school time “teaching entertainment news” and then tie that “news to a product?

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