Ashton Kutcher raises eyebrows for free TV ad plugs
As if Ashton Kutcher wasn't having enough trouble fighting alleations of cheating on Demi Moore, he's made his bosses at CBS a little twitchy over some free advertising he devised in Monday's episode of Two and a Half Men. Frankly, he's gonna need all the extra cash he can get if Demi divorces him.
While his character Walden Schmidt lounged on the couch once occupied by Charlie Sheen, viewers could plainly see stickers for social networking and media sites like Foursquare, Chegg, GroupMe and Hipmunk. The issue is that these are all companies Kutcher has financial stakes in, and while show creator Chuck Lorre was okay with it, CBS didn't know about it, E! says. Don't go thinking they were fine with him giving away primo exposure in prime-time, either.
"This was not part of any advertising transaction with CBS," a network spokesperson told E!. "Our policy is to disclose such financial interests in a credit at the end of the broadcast." While it doesn't look like Ashton is going to get in any trouble for this stunt, CBS is blurring out the stickers in future broadcasts of the episode. He'll also likely get a call from Demi's laywers demanding disclosure whether he was compensated in any way, just to make sure the numbers add up.
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