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n. Informal
Advertising or publicity that is intended for self-promotion and not paid for or underwritten by an independent sponsor: "fourteen minutes of traditional ads and eight of plugola" (Jessica Benson and Bill Alden).

[plug + -ola, suff.; see crapola.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Marketing) journalism the unofficial promotion of products or people in the media
2. (Broadcasting) journalism the unofficial promotion of products or people in the media
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(plʌˈgoʊ lə)

1. improper payment or favor given to people in media, films, etc., for promotional mention or display of some product.
2. promotional mention of someone or something on radio or television.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
I do so for two reasons: first, I am the Director of the Media Ecology Program at New York University, and in these times of financial difficulties a little "intellectual plugola" might help; second, the term frees us from labels already in wide use, thereby allowing us to suggest our own definitions and to create our own methodologies for studying the various media of mass communication.
Television news plugola and the last episode of Seinfeld.
Has Hollywood finally reached the plugola pinnacle?
"Television News Plugola and the Last Episode of Seinfeld." JoC 52.2 (2002): 383-401.
He catches Bill O'Reilly blowing hard ("I've almost been killed three times," Carlson quotes O'Reilly, dubiously), Barney Frank in a shrewish mode ("I think you're filled with hatred," Frank sneers at him), and Jerry Falwell embracing his brothers in publicity hoghood, Alan Dershowitz and Geraldo Rivera ("he's a brilliant fellow.") He tells about the night Jim Traficant came on the show drunk, affectionately reveals that Bill Press, his former co-host on a show called "The Spin Room," seemed to operate a restaurant plugola scheme, and offers a brief but spot-on parody of the bombastic Chris Matthews.
But, you may ask, how could a film like "White Castle," which boldly uses such a plugola, only be runner-up?