WHAT IS “JEANS” or how does the news agency “UNN” earn money?


Ordered materials have become a common practice, in particular for Ukrainian mass media.

Unfortunately, we are forced to state the fact that recently, even respected news agencies in the past, such as UNN, have begun to place commissioned materials in the columns of the publication, without conducting any verification of the presented facts. Probably, this shameful practice allows UNN to replenish its own budget, without paying taxes, of course, and at the risk of litigation and the payment of significant compensation.

And then, we will tell you about the essence of this shameful phenomenon.

Journalists call paid material or intentionally hidden advertising “jeans” (jeans – emphasis on the last syllable). So, this is a slang word that is common among pen workers primarily in Russia and Ukraine. But knowing something about him will not hurt every reader and viewer. After all, we face it every day.

The origin of the term itself is not known for certain; an article from the Russian Wikipedia suggests that the name jeans was given by a Ukrainian mobile operator who actively promoted his product – the Jeans package, using, among other things, means of hidden advertising. One way or another, the name stuck. And all because commissioned materials have become a common practice, in particular for Ukrainian mass media. The Institute of Mass Information monitors four national publications for hidden advertising. Three of them regularly post questionable material in every issue!

Types of “jeans”

Hidden advertising can be divided into two groups – political commissioned materials and commercial advertising. Political jeans include:

a) articles or stories that are actually written by the press services of political parties or individual politicians. As a rule, they are signed with a pseudonym.

In other cases, a real journalist stands behind the publication, who – in fulfillment of the task of his manager (or on his own initiative – for monetary or other remuneration) prepares material on a given topic with accents needed by the customer – the political force. In this case, the prepared material is checked by the customer before publication or airing.

b) the publication of sociological studies of dubious firms, which, as a rule, seriously differ from other social surveys in favor of some political force. It is about deliberately overestimating or underestimating the ratings of a certain party or politician, or falsified data about support or, on the contrary, society’s rejection of certain initiatives.

c) pseudo-analytics by little-known authors signed by “political scientists” often appear in the columns of newspapers, who provide a seemingly expert assessment of this or that event from an angle favorable to one of the political forces.

d) publication of various “letters from…” (workers, miners, medical workers). In such letters, written by a staff PR writer of a certain party, protest, indignation, and support are expressed as if on behalf of the community. This type of jeans dates back to Soviet times.

e) comment bots (from web bot, www robot – English – an automatic program for downloading files or sending spam). On the contrary, it is one of the newest inventions of the Internet age. The name of the bot has an ironic connotation – it is actually about people. These are hired workers or activists of political headquarters who, for money, leave comments (posts, comments) on the pages of online publications with the aim of discrediting this or that article, its author, expressed ideas or stated facts. It should be noted that falsified Internet comments cannot be considered jeans in the narrow sense of the word, because the publications themselves do not make any profit from the activity of bots. However, it is worth knowing about this type of paid publications. After all, warned means armed!

Commercial jeans also have more than one face. Most often, it manifests itself like this:

a) 100% advertising text prepared by professional advertisers (most often found in daily newspapers), which is placed in the column next to regular articles. At the same time, it is not indicated anywhere that this publication is advertising. In this case, we can talk about improper labeling, which is a violation of the Advertising Law.

c) stories or publications that imitate the style of a news or report, but are nothing more than hidden advertising. The spectrum of advertised services is very wide – from private clinics to grocery stores.

c) hidden advertising on television can be purely visual. From the simplest – an unjustified display of logos, advertising slogans, to a complex video sequence that can emphasize positive sentiments associated with a particular product.

Who needs jeans?

I understand, who does not need jeans. Its consumers are you and me. People who buy newspapers, listen to the radio, get news from TV. And who needs it? First of all, customers, because hidden custom publication allows you to hope for an effect that cannot be achieved by honest advertising. And also to media owners, media managers and dishonest journalists.

In this way, the mass media can avoid taxes, because the payment for hidden advertising is usually made in “cash”, that is, in cash. In accounting, of course, this money does not appear in any way.

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