WATCH: 11 TV Stations Run Pro-Amazon Script Written by Amazon Ahead of Annual Shareholder Meeting
At least 11 local television stations ran a pro-Amazon news segment, written by the company itself, prior to the company’s annual shareholder meeting, according to a Tuesday report.
Amazon’s investors have pushed the company to address worker safety after at least eight of their employees died of the coronavirus, prompting Amazon to send a script to local news outlets to promote the company’s safety measures amid the pandemic:
NEW: Here’s 11 local news stations just straight up running an Amazon scripted segment ahead of their shareholders meeting pic.twitter.com/wc8HbJT4ki
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) May 26, 2020
“Millions of Americans staying at home are relying on Amazon,” reporters said, reading off a script. “The company is keeping its employees safe and healthy while still delivering those packages to your doorstep.”
The reporters also told viewers that Amazon has spent “$800 million on increased wages and overtime pay during the pandemic.”
The Courier’s Tim Burke was first to report on the coordination.
KOCO News’ Zach Rael on Sunday revealed on Twitter that Amazon’s PR team sent the Oklahoma City station its pre-edited script in an attempt to sell the story as an “inside look” at the company’s coronavirus response.
Just got an email from Amazon’s PR team with a pre-edited news story and script to run in our shows. They are selling this as giving our viewers an “inside look” at the company’s response to COVID-19.
Let us go inside a fulfillment centers with our own cameras… pic.twitter.com/7mDk2xmf4O
— Zach Rael (@KOCOZach) May 24, 2020
At least 11 stations across the U.S. broadcasted the package, which was produced by Amazon spokesperson Todd Walker.
Amazon said in a statement the script was published to Business Wire, adding that many other companies create and distribute similar scripts to media organizations.
“We welcome reporters into our buildings and it’s misleading to suggest otherwise. This type of video was created to share an inside look into the health and safety measures we’ve rolled out in our buildings and was intended for reporters who for a variety of reasons weren’t able to come tour one of our sites themselves,” an Amazon spokesperson added in a statement to Mediaite.
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