If only we’d thought of this:
Via the New York Times:
SHANGHAI — China is notorious for censoring politically delicate news coverage. But it is more than willing to let flattering news about Western and Asian businesses appear in print and broadcast media — if the price is right.
Want a profile of your chief executive to appear in the Chinese version of Esquire? That will be about $20,000 a page, according to the advertising department of the magazine, which has a licensing agreement with the Hearst Corporation in the United States.
Need to get your top executive on a news program by state-run China Central Television? Pay $4,000 a minute, says a network consultant who arranges such appearances.
A flattering article about your company in Workers’ Daily, the Communist Party’s propaganda newspaper? About $1 per Chinese character, the paper’s advertising agent said.
Though Chinese laws and regulations ban paid promotional material that is not labeled as such, the practice is so widespread that many publications and broadcasters even have rate cards listing news-for-sale prices.