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Sometimes we're shocked by our own naivet . Earlier, we innocently asked for tales of most egregious abuse of advertiser payola in media, using auto mags' practice of swapping parts for good reviews as example. We made light of car parts as acceptable trades for New York media payola, assuming the coin of this realm would be more along the lines of accessories, gift bags, dinner vouchers, or the occasional watch. Turns out the real dosh is entire cars (not just Lincolns), handed out as gratis loans to the upper editorial echelons at men's mags like, oh, we don't know, GQ:

Try Jim Nelson, Brandon Holley, Michael Hainey — this scam has been going on forever, when the likes of them and everyone else at Cond Nast had their wheels delivered to 350 Madison at 5 p.m. every Friday, just in time for a weekend away. If you look back at a mediabistro chat with Nelson and some other men's book eds giving a talk to PRs, this before Art Cooper keeled over, and Nelson was the Big Boy, you'll see him telling auto PRs to keep the cars coming.

We couldn't locate the old Mediabistro chat mentioned by the reader, but it's not as if GQ editor Jim Nelson's profilgate car-related spending is any particular secret. Strange that GQ has such historic troubles keeping an in-house publicist. He's one full-on crazy white boy!

[Photo: Getty Images]