Stan Zeitlin

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Stan Zeitlin is the Chairman of WestGlen Communications a major broadcast PR company that produces video news releases (VNRs).

Reaction to controversy over VNRs

In a letter to a March 2005 New York Times article on VNRs, Zeitlin accused the paper of double standards. "...Newspapers don't reveal that much of the news they print originates from press releases supplied by corporate communications departments, public relations agencies, college sports information offices and the staffs of mayors and legislators," he wrote in a letter to the editor.

Zeitlin went on to continue the article of pointing "a selective finger unfairly" in arguing for viewers being informed of the sponsor of VNRs. "Disclosing the source of video news releases is the responsibility of reputable producer-distributors; identifying the source is the job of local TV news directors and producers," Zeitlin wrote.

The following day the PR trade publication O'Dwyers PR Daily convened a teleconference of leading VNR company representatives to discuss "what the industry can do about the torrent of negative publicity". [1]

Zeitlin was one of those on the conference call and flagged that one of his main concerns was "how is our business going to be affected by this; will it be affected?".

Zeitlin recalled "a flap"" in 2003 over the use of paid celebrities in VNRs and public service announcements produced by the drug industry. "What happened was, for a couple of months that business dried up and those people whose business was providing celebrities were dry. Well, business is booming for them, and as you look around your own boards and see what you've got working, look how many well-known people are appearing in medical VNRs, and b-rolls, and PSAs, and SMPs; and this flap has just passed over," he said hoping the latest controversy would apss too. [2]

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