NPMA News Alert—ABC’s newsmagazine show, 20/20, will air a segment tomorrow night at 10:00 p.m. ET that will offer insight into several industries including professional pest management. The piece, currently entitled “True Confessions” is also expected to feature valet parkers, lifeguards, and electronics salesmen.
The segment follows an undercover investigation conducted over the past month in the New York City area. A home was staged by the 20/20 team and certified to be free from bed bugs by two entomologists, Paul Bello and Lou Sorkin. A fictitious homeowner, allegedly concerned about bed bugs, invited eleven canine scent detection teams into the home to see what they would “find.” As a whole, we were told, our industry performed “by the book” with the inspections. We believe the show will use a few of the inspections as teachable moments for consumers. According to producers, none of those who conducted inspections will be listed by company name and no company logos will be shown.
NPMA’s consumer education arm, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), has been in touch with the show’s producers throughout the past week and has offered on-camera industry representation, fact-checking consultation, our own statistics, resources, and advice, etc. The show has definitively declined to speak with our expert sources and will only be using consultants in the piece.
While we do not know exactly what the show will suggest about the industry, at this point, we do not believe it will be unfavorable; however, should the industry be misrepresented, PPMA will promptly issue talking points to all NPMA members and if warranted, prepare an industry response to 20/20.