Danny Seo Columns Push Products Sold By Companies He Owns or Supports

True, we're a bit cynical about the benefits of the green movement. One reason is people like Danny Seo, who use the concept of green to make a lot of green.

Sure, Seo's a nice guy who was born on Earth Day and wants to save the planet. But what's the difference between his eco-advice and advertising? Not much, judging by his syndicated columns published in the Arizona Republic.

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Seo's inaugural column in the Repub included the "tip" that readers should consider using aromatherapy. We soon found that Seo sells an aromotherapy product.

On April 23, his second column kicked off by shilling for bedding made out of corn stalks, also known as "Ingeo fiber." Seo seems like he's being generous by sharing a link to a company that makes such bedding. But what he's really doing is testing the concept that a rising tide floats all boats. Seo just unveiled a new line of pillows with Ingeo fiber.

We're not sure if he sells products with hydrogen peroxide, which he says is a good alternative to using "harmful" chlorine bleach. But Seo's lending his name to a line of "green" home products, including for laundry rooms, that are supposed to be alternatives to bleach and other standard cleaning supplies.

One item in Seo's column made us wonder if he was playing an inside joke on the newspaper that's helping him fertilize his growing empire: Seo suggests donating old newspapers to animal shelters for puppies and kitties to poop on.

Then again, maybe it's just more lateral marketing: Buy newspaper with Seo columns, read Seo's advertising plugs, donate newspaper to animal shelter, adopt pet, buy Seo's room deodorizer.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.