I have been on your blog since its inception (I have comments on one of the first posts) and "hung out" with you guys on TWoP. I just finished reading your Question and Answer section and wanted to comment a bit on the following question (see below):
QUESTION: Can you shed some light on the sponsors. Do the producers contact Crayola and ask to come film or is it the other way around. Also does TLC pay for everything on the trips and outings such as the trip to Utah or the special days or do the Gosselins also contribute? I remember Jon mentioning something about setting aside money to allow for these special days.
ANSWER: It is our impression that Figure 8 Films or TLC approach the venues. They then tell Jon and Kate where they are going. Anything that is filmed for the show is paid for by Figure 8/TLC. They paid for the trips to Disney World and Utah and all the amusement parks. We don't know for sure, but they probably also pay for the gas... and for any "helpers" who are "needed" to go along. I'm sure that Beth did not finance her trip to Utah. We do not know who paid for Beth and her 3 daughters to be waiting at Disney World.
I think that a LOT of viewers/readers believe that Figure 8 Films/TLC are the ones that PAY for things. In fact, it is the businesses that are shown (Juicy Juice, P&G, Southwest Air, Utah, etc.) that provide their services for FREE in exchange for being shown on TV. It is a well-known form of advertising, and much more preferred than buying a billboard or commercial for the business as it shows REAL people consuming/using/enjoying their product.
I also have a bit of "inside" knowledge. My husband works as the PR Manager for a very well-known local business here in northern Nevada. He promotes their nationally-known annual event. Because of Jon & Kate's popularity (whether positive or negative), his company offered Jon & Kate and family AND helpers an all-expenses-paid trip to our area.
My husband had trips planned for them to Lake Tahoe and many other activities that would appeal to the whole family (Spa Day, anyone?), as well as royal treatment during this annual event. In exchange, their trip/excursions would be shown on an episode (or two), much like the ski trip in Utah was handled. Many, many local businesses (as well as our area tourism board) were excited and planning on giving their services for free because of the potential national exposure. Although Jon & Kate never replied to the offer themselves, Figure 8 films was very, very interested (I do have proof and emails from Figure 8 films, if needed.).
Unfortunately, schedules were not able to coordinate this year for this to happen, but my husband will work on it for next year. (And I will be sure to keep you guys informed.) I do need to clarify, though. We are NOT fans or sheeple, but do find the whole train wreck amusing. (Our 8-year-old daughter was very excited, though!) This was just a (brilliant) idea for publicity and advertising for my husband's company, and our local area.