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UPDATE

Now, NBC knows what a 'Realtor' is

January 09, 2005|From Times wire reports

Although millions of folks use the terms "Realtor" and "real estate agent" interchangeably, an incident on the "Today" show demonstrated that the National Assn. of Realtors will vigorously defend its trademark.

Janice Lieberman, a consumer affairs reporter on the "Today" show, made an on-air mistake in November when she was asked, "What's the difference between a Realtor and a real estate agent?"

She responded: "Nothing. You say to-may-toe and I say to-mah-toe."

Not so.

The trade group maintains that, popular usage aside, the term refers specifically to its 1 million dues-paying members, and several courts have agreed. Apparently, significant numbers of Realtors contacted NBC to complain.

So, even though Lieberman corrected her mistake on the air, the association wasn't satisfied, according to Realtor magazine. It succeeded in getting NBC to agree to run free ads on "Today" on its behalf. The ads, valued at $50,000, will air Feb. 7.

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