Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: ABC PR “Will Do Anything For Some Ink”

October 22, 2007

From Romenesko:

ABC’s PR people are telling TV writers that they have extra tickets to the “The 41st Annual CMA Awards” that they’d love to give away to newspaper readers. “We can offer 2-4 tickets at great viewing seating, retail value $350. It’d be great for a posting on your publication or online Web site. Requirement: a feature about the CMA Awards that mentions the giveaway and tune in to the ‘The 41st Annual CMA Awards’ on ABC Nov. 7 (8-11 p.m.).” Rob Owens writes in his last column item: “My editor and I both received this blatant attempt at quid pro quo product placement. Needless to say, we did not respond, but, boy, the TV folks will do anything for some ink.”

Requiring coverage in exchange for free tickets is not only a dumb move, it’s unethical.  Unfortunately, it happens all the time. What do you think?

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