Platinum Group Television "creative director" Jill Brevda contacted me to tell me that the university at which I work - a public university in California - was being screened for possible selection in a series that ABC Family was airing sometime in August called Universities of Distinction. Prior to speaking with me she tried to contact our university President directly and was bounced to me in our public affairs office. She told me that if our university was chosen, our 5-7 minute "segment" would air on ABC Family and other family oriented cable networks. The aim was to "give parents choices and information about how to prepare kids to attend college." Never once was there mention of a fee for service - she said that ABC Family was working with PTGTV to put these segments on the air but didn't say exactly how the two were connected.
**Nowhere on PTGTV's Web site is there any mention of fees for ad placement.**
After a lengthy twenty minute interview about our school and its teaching philosophy I expained that I would get back to Jill as to whether or not this type of project was something the university wanted to pursue. I immediately went online to research the Platinum Group and found this website where a recent blog from someone who had been duped mentioned an insertion fee/licensing fee. When I called Jill to verify that there was a fee she told me that PTGTV puts up some $250,000 to produce the ad segment and asks the company that is profiled to contribute $19,000 for a licensing fee. The fee supposedly gives the participating company the right to script approval and input in production. Um, HELLO - NOT! If ABC Family wanted to do a segment on our university it would do it for free - that's what media do. I wonder how ABC Family would feel about having there name used in this project.
When I told Jill that a state run university doesn't have the budget for the type of advertising she was suggesting, she wanted confirmation from the President's office. When I told her I would get it and the answer would be still be no she hung up with me and kicked her sales pitch into panic mode. Jill Brevda called my Vice President's office and told the VPs executive assistant that she, Jill Brevda who had no idea about our university other than what she read on the web, knew better than I did about what was good for the university and that she knew more about the university than I did.
Buyer beware - Platinum Group Television is not a cable network nor is it directly connected to a cable network other than to use your money to buy ad space and make themselves money...