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"When we come back, we'll tell you about a great new diet..."

Video newsreels or VNR's, began to really blossom in the early 90's. Contrary to the name, a video newsreel is not a news story. It is, in fact, a commercial.

Many companies, especially American drug cartels send pre-recorded video clips to local news stations all over the country. Toward the end of the 20th century, marketers realized that the best way to sell something effectively was to disguise the message, to hide it in other content or put it in a context where few people would recognize it as a commercial and thus dismiss it..

So we have VNR's. News stations are more than willing to air them, partly because their parent stations are hungry for that dwindling ad revenue, and anything they can do to forge a business relationship with a big company, they will. Another contributing factor is the reduction of cost. The news station doesn't have to produce the VNR's. They come prepackaged, complete with blank sound tracks so the local anchors can dub their own voices into the tape, making it sound like they actually did the report themselves.

If you think this is devious and downright sneaky, you're right.

Pharmaceutical companies especially love VNR's because they can tout their wares without having to list the side effects. You know. Those funny lists at the end of the commercials? Not to mention the fact that being on the news makes it seem like some important scientific discovery. "OOOH! A new, digitally enhanced, diet pill!"

May cause drowsiness, dehydration, stomach upset, intestinal bleeding, Lesbians! Monkeys! Soy!, and or head explody. Consult your doctor before taking Googlahydrexkillabees.

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