Fox commentator paid $50,000 to tout stock
By Chuck Jaffe | MarketWatch – 3 hours ago.. .
Most investors can’t tell the difference between “sponsored investment research” and independent analysis, and that’s exactly what the “sponsors” — typically small companies paying for a marketing campaign that will inflate their stock activity and value — are counting on.
The difference gets even tougher to figure out when the sponsor hires someone who is known for giving independent commentary colored only by their own feelings and research.
A Tobin Smith email promoting Petrosonic
Think of it like a big honking commercial, with a celebrity endorser.
Last week, that bought-and-paid for stock endorsement was a 20-page mailer about Petrosonic Energy (PSON) , supported by an e-mail campaign, featuring Tobin Smith, a money manager who has been a fixture on the television news shows for 15 years, and who today is a regular on the Fox networks, describing himself on Twitter as a “guest anchor.” According to Fox, he is “a contributing market analyst for FOX News Channel and a regular panelist on ‘Bulls & Bears.’” (Fox, like MarketWatch, is owned by News Corp.)