December 10, 2011; Source: New York Times | The other night, JP Morgan Chase sponsored “The American Giving Awards” on NBC, an hour-long special that highlights $2 million of its own charitable work. Lisa Graves of PR Watch calls the whole thing a greed-washing incident that is “a drop in the bucket compared to its ultra-lush benefits for bankers who profited richly from the swaps that undermined our nation’s financial security.”
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The two-hour gala “philanthropon” highlighted five charities that have been funded by Chase in the past, which had been selected to compete for a $1 million grant via a Facebook voting process. The four losers would get lesser investments from the financial giant. Eight commercials aired over the course of the show were Chase’s as well, but when asked if the show itself was basically one long commercial, NBC replied in the negative, saying it was a show about charitable giving.—Ruth McCambridge