The New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, has targeted the major labels in the US (Warners, Universal, EMI, BMG-Sony) in an anti corruption investigation into payola – securing radio airplay for acts. Mr Spitzer has issued subpoenas to EMI and the other majors to seek details of any links between record companies and independent pluggers who are used to promote artistes to radio stations. Mr Spizer is investigating whether the use of ‘go-betweens’ violates anti-payola laws in the US – enforced by the Federal Communications Commission which prevent labels buying airtime. In 2002 the RIAA called on the US Government to bolster the laws and investigate questionable practices in the radio industry.
Source: The Times 23 October 2004