TV Sitcoms to incorporate Obamacare pitches?

posted at 3:01 pm on September 16, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

Autumn is fast approaching, and with it comes the new season of television sitcoms, dramadies and reality shows. And this year you may have a bit more to look forward to than finally finding out How He Met Your Mother. If the government has their way, it appears that some of your favorite (or most despised) prime time offerings will work in story lines which promote Obamacare… just in time for the election.

Abby Goodnough of The New York Times is reporting as the California state government is setting up its ObamaCare exchange, the exchange has hired a PR firm…

“Realizing that much of the battle will be in the public relations realm, the exchange has poured significant resources into a detailed marketing plan — developed not by state health bureaucrats but by the global marketing powerhouse Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, which has an initial $900,000 contract with the exchange,” she wrote. Ogilvy’s plan is to tap major network TV shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” to sell Americans on the health care law.

I was first alerted to this tidbit by Professor Jacobson, who notes:

There are times it seems overwhelming how corrupted various aspects of society have become in the effort to impose Obamacare on the country…

Instead of helping sell soap, television will help sell a political platform.

At first glance, this may seem rather ho-hum to some of you. I mean, we’re talking about Hollywood here. With only a few notable exceptions, (Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well… do ya?) the actors, directors and producers of these shows are already pretty much pinch hitting for the Obama administration anyway. But there are two key differences here.

First of all, when producers of television content engage in not-so-subtle pitching of progressive memes, it’s hopefully a case of them pushing their own liberal ideas and preferences, no matter how closely they may align with the DNC platform. Everyone has a right to speak their mind, even if the Hollywood Powers That Be have a significantly louder megaphone with which to do so. But in this scenario, the script is essentially being fed directly to them from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Second – and perhaps far more to the point – as Jacobson points out, when a company like Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide steps in to coordinate a campaign like this, they expect to be paid… and handsomely. In this case, it’s just short of a million bucks. And who do you think is paying that bill?

I’ll give you three guesses and the first two don’t count.


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