Product Endorsement Representatives, also known as "actors", has been a viable marketing tool used by most companies, for as long as advertising has existed. Hey Bob, can you act like you really like my product in front of all these people, so I can sell more of it?
Misleading the press? Are you kidding me? Whatever gets ratings for the media company...paid actors or real people...they don't care.
Blogs, comments, and other types of Viral Marketing have been happening since the 1st person was able to share a thought on the Internet. People who are paid to spread the good word about a product are EVERYWHERE!
Wake up people! If you don't like that the world is trying to sell you something - do us all a favor and UNPLUG.
If most people were to listen to the old A&R executives from the major studios and NOT use the Internet to distribute their own music, they'd be waiting for a VERY LONG TIME for anyone to get to hear their music, even if they went out every night, playing at the lowliest dives in town. Artists in the past struggled, and the ones that did make it, made it big because all the money was filtered through one medium. How else do you think the RIAA became so powerful? They controlled that 1 medium for as long as they could, until the Internet came along.
If you'd ask any major artist from the past 30 years, "Hey, would you want 100,000 times more competition out there, and thus, make less money, or do you want to keep getting richer?", what do you think they would say?
I am a fan of John Mellencamp. I have all his albums, and have seen him in concert twice. I think he WAS a great songwriter and musician. Lately, his new music offerings have not been to my taste. That's fine. People change as they get older. He smoked for so many years, he just doesn't have the energy to give the same shows he did when he was younger. Let's not forget, he did sell-out to make it as a big star when he was younger. Most artists thought they had to. He would have kept his own name, and used all of his own material, had he not listened to what the people who gave him his contract told him to do. But, he wanted to be a star.
Not everybody who makes music out there today needs to make millions, and be a big star. They just get a thrill that they can make any kind of a living playing music, and that people respond to their music with positive feedback.
Maybe the ATOMIC bomb has occurred, and the playing field has leveled a bit. If those older artists want to continue to use the traditional methods of getting their music to the people, so be it. Frankly, I will still listen to their old music, but I am looking forward to hearing some fresh new stuff that my ears will enjoy and my feet can tap to.