While there’s nothing wrong with having a guest fill-in on a TV news segment, iMediaEthics wonders why KOIN6 used a fashion model and product shill Fabio as its guest weatherman, especially given his tank top-wearing and his unusual manner of presenting the weather.
iMediaEthics watched the two-minute segment, posted here on Mediaite. Because the feature felt like free advertising or marketing for Old Spice, iMediaEthics wrote to both the TV news station and advertising firm Wieden + Kennedy for more information.
As the anchor introduces Fabio, viewers are told that he is the new Old Spice guy and that a local advertising agency, Wieden + Kennedy, facilitated that campaign. Throughout the two-minute segment, Old Spice is mentioned five times — an average of once every 24 seconds. Fabio’s “title” on a bar on the screen is “New Old Spice Guy.”
A Wieden + Kennedy spokesperson told StinkyJournalism that an “Old Spice fan suggested Fabio do a weather forecast” during the “latest Old Spice campaign,” which “featured a three-day Internet challenge between Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa and Fabio.”
During the campaign, viewers could suggest “comments and challenges” to the two, according to the spokesperson, who added that the company asked KOIN 6 if Fabio could appear for the weather segment.
Fabio’s comments throughout the section, including “It’s very sunny today and it feels so nice on Fabio’s skin. Thank you sun,” struck iMediaEthics as odd for a TV news broadcast. We asked Wieden + Kennedy who was responsible for the script. KOIN 6 gave the “actual weather forecast” to Wieden+Kennedy, which wrote Fabio’s script. According to the spokesperson, Fabio “followed” the Wieden + Kennedy script.
iMediaEthics also asked if Wieden + Kennedy or Old Spice paid for, sponsored or purchased advertising from KOIN 6 in order to secure the segment, which Wieden + Kennedy denied. The spokesperson stated: “No money exchanged hands between Wieden+Kennedy, KOIN News Channel 6 or Old Spice for Fabio’s appearance on the program.”
iMediaEthics has written to KOIN 6 several times seeking comment and more information about why the network aired this segment. We haven’t had any response, but will update if we hear anything.