I've put off writing about this for a few days now. It's just too depressing to think about. But PR Week has published a story that will break your heart if you care about journalistic integrity. According to a poll by Manning Selvage & Lee and the magazine, nearly half of the marketing executives surveyed say they have paid to get news coverage.
PR Week keeps its material behind a password-protected firewall, so only subscribers can read the original article. But you can read the New York Times take here. Or check out Paul Gillin's blog for his opinion and links to other coverage by clicking here.
The article isn't solely about B2B. Rather it appears that marketers are paying to play in a variety of publications. And I think most folks in our industry assume that some genres -- particularly fashion and shopping magazines -- are filled with this nonsense.
And it's possible that the survey isn't an accurate representation of the truth. An optimist might say the marketers are simply bragging -- claiming to have influence that they don't actually have.
But I'm not much of an optimist. I've seen too many publications engage in shocking or cheap behavior. So I'm walking around today with my head hung low.
For a look at the ASBPE's rewritten ethics guidelines, read this earlier post.
For my advice on how to handle pressure to behave unethically, read this earlier post.
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, newsletters, business media, journalism education