Tuesday, July 31, 2007

When you can't beat 'em - pay 'em



I've been holding onto this post for a week trying to decide how this can be explained or justified, but I just can't do it. Undoubtedly you've heard the old adage "When you can't beat 'em, join 'em". Well, for those without any savvy but deep pockets, it's adapted to the title of this post. Or, as the "Million Dollar Man" Ted DeBiase (pictured right, with Zeus) would say, "Everyone's got a price - for the 'Million Dollar Man'!".

Apparently the same holds true when it comes to journalism. In the 5th annual survey of its kind, PR Week and my employer, MS&L, says that 17% of marketers agreed to pay for ads in exchange for a "news" story. And some have used gifts in exchange for favorable coverage. Sickening. Stepping back from the blogosphere and my web background, this is truly something that is downright awful. This clearly defies the PRSA ethics standards and only decreases [further] decreses the public's trust of the media.

I understand this isn't utopia and that people can be bought --- but for cryin' out loud but it's another sign of the apocalypse when the WWFE emulates life. The only thing missing is a picture of a journalist with a mouth full of hundred dollar bills, courtesy of the Million Dollar Man.


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