Pfizer, the world's biggest drug company, says it paid 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals about $20 million total in professional fees for services like consulting and speaking on behalf of the company, in just the last six months of 2009. During the same period, Pfizer also paid $15.3 million to 250 academic medical centers and other research groups for clinical trials.
Corporate Accountability International (CAI) surveyed five states (Minnesota, Maryland, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon) and found that taxpayers in those states are shelling out between $78,000 and $475,000 a year for government to buy bottled water, a resource that essentially flows free from public taps.
Lady Gaga is raising eyebrows with her latest racy music video, Telephone, but this time it's not because of the overt sexuality, the wacky costumes or even the fact that her co-star is Beyonce'. What's grabbing attention is the video's flagrant product placement.
All eyes are on Wall Street this week as the big banks get ready to report their earnings and bonuses. Rebounding banks are preparing to pay out bonuses that rival those of the pre-crisis boom years.
During the first nine months of 2009, five of the largest banks that received federal aid — Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — together set aside about $90 billion for compensation.
To avoid pitchforks and public outrage, most banks are tamping down on the cash payouts and beefing up long-term stock options. One bank is taking an even more novel approach. Dare we call it greedwashing?
James Cameron's new blockbuster movie Avatar won a "black lung" rating for gratuitous smoking from the Web site Scenesmoking.org, which rates motion pictures according to the amount of smoking they show. Avatar is a futuristic fantasy that takes place sometime in the 22nd century. In it, Sigourney Weaver plays an environmental scientist who puffs on cigarettes as she tries to save the moon Pandora.
In the middle of the H1N1 influenza epidemic, Kellogg is marketing Cocoa Krispies, Froot Loops and other sugary cereals with claims on the box that the cereal "now helps support your child's immunity." The word "immunity" is printed on the box in a huge font, almost as big as the name of the cereal.