Undercover Boss Television Show Review – Is it just another reality television show to promote companies to consumers?

Last year I started watching a television show called Undercover Boss.  When I tuned in on the night, I was really impressed to see how little CEO’s actually knew their own companies.  I continued watching the television show because I enjoyed being able to see business and organizations being run from the inside out.

As a consumer, I have always been the receiver of bad customer service.  I have also had bad experiences regarding the quality of products.  As you watch Undercover Boss, you are able to see the reaction of the CEO and how he/she views the employees’ behaviors to co-workers and customers.  I feel that it is vital for CEO’s to see what is happening face-to-face with customers.

As an employee of a company that was on Undercover Boss, I feel very different towards the show.  Two days ago I was invited to an Undercover Boss pep-rally at my company’s location.  As a part of this rally, I was able to listen to my CEO talk about the experience and what was thought about the show after being on it.

My CEO had talked about the exposure that Undercover Boss offered to a company.  It was stated that the company had options with the budget set for advertisements.  It was made crystal clear that the show was “a free way for the public to see our company.”  This was one of the biggest reasons my company accepted the offer.

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After hearing about why the company accepted the offer, I had asked about clips of the different jobs performed.  The response I received was “There were 6 jobs that were done over a couple of days.”  Undercover Boss film crew took clips of 4 jobs, but only showed clips of when the CEO starts the job.  This doesn’t allow the CEO’s to get comfortable first, but shows that CEO’s need to be on the floor face-to-face with customers and co-workers more often.

This leads me to my next point why I believe Undercover Boss is just another reality television show.  The sob, sorry, and sad stories that are told to the CEO’s are said for the first time when filmed.  The CEO doesn’t get to choose what employees are filmed with or even what their stories are.

I believe this just allows the CEO to be able to feel emotion more when they hear the stories.  If Undercover Boss came to my location, I would have given a story of the hard, life changing events that have occurred in my life.  Another part of the CEO’s not knowing is that the Executive Board are the only people who have a say in the decision.  This allows them to choose the stories and employees that will most likely “reach the emotional side of the CEO.”

After hearing all the background information that happens behind the scenes of Undercover Boss I thought twice about watching this television show.  The CEO’s reactions are all played out and staged to allow positive publicity for the company.  It should be known that the CEO’s are not going to get on a national television show and be an asshole to people because people won’t shop, attend, or even speak highly of their company.

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2 Responses to Undercover Boss Television Show Review – Is it just another reality television show to promote companies to consumers?

  1. Jason Zaz on November 22, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    This Subway episode was the by far the worst episode that I have watched. I have watched every episode for both the first and the second season. I hope this show does not fall victim to CEOs trying to become actors. Don… the so called Chief Development Officer in the show was a joke. Nobody wants to watch some idiot “pretend” he is this useless. After seeing every show from series opener this was the first time I wanted to turn the show off and never return to it. I and my family enjoy this show very much however if we have to continue to watch some “no-name” member of a company pretend he is a prime time actor I will no longer be interested in wasting and hour of my like with this show. I will also guarantee the producers that similar shows as this Subway Episode that it will only be the beginning to an end to the series.

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  2. Cheryl D on April 12, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    A friend of mine worked on the show. While the person who wrote the above review was correct on some points — true, the boss has no say as to who he works with nor does he have any idea what their stories or situations might be. However, the Executive Board that he meets with in each episode also have ZERO say as to who he works with or encounters. They do not know ANYTHING about the cast of the show.

    There is an entire casting department for the show that takes care of choosing who the boss will encounter. They travel the country interviewing hundreds of company employees and the casting directors and executive producers of the show choose who will be filmed and ultimately part of the final product. No major network show spending thousands of dollars on filming would leave the casting of a show up to the executive board of any company. There is too much at stake for the network.

    No one from any of the companies have any say whatsoever in who is on the show, what they say, or any other detail. And there are some companies what won’t do the show for that very reason. If it were up to the companies they’d only show their star employees and no one would ever be caught complaining or revealing huge issues within the company.

    And the show likely DID come to your location. According to my friend they had people that went to many many locations of each company but they did not announce themselves as producers for the show– they create a cover story and enter these companies and get access to their employees and interview them under the guise of some other agenda.

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