I was just about to do that, lol.
Shills gotta get paid, and pretend to be regular joes. Even still, people get around it. Guerilla Marketing and all.
The main thing is that some marketing is distasteful to some, and not others--things get testy in zero-sum conditions like business. Personally, I am not bothered by it. Whether employed by the maker or not, an edorsement does not mean anything to me unless I have a record of good endorsements to relate it to. I will trust Alton Brown's recipes, Harold McGee's fact-checking, Dave's sharpening advice/recommendations, and the Coen Brothers' films.
Even street teams get free merch.