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Shame… <>

A great Editorial from Adage… gets right to the heart of the issue on pulling advertising…

The primary reasons for advertisers to invest in any media product should be the bond that product has with its audience and the relevance of that audience as a marketing target. Such relationships are often based on trust and credibility. Tools such as ad-pull policies can damage that credibility. They make clear to editors and publishers that if they don’t create an editorial environment friendly to a marketer’s message, the money will go elsewhere. – AdAge

A seperate story staes: "The memo cites a new BP policy document entitled "2005 BP Corporate-RFP" that demands that ad-accepting publications inform BP in advance of any news text or visuals they plan to publish that directly mention the company, a competitor or the oil-and-energy industry."

BP says:

"Scott Dean, a BP spokesman, said that to his knowledge MindShare penned the memo. He called the language in it "unfortunate" and "regretable."

"This is not meant to be Draconian or to influence coverage. We are just asking for a head’s up" about a cover story about the oil industry. We never asked to read [editorial] copy in advance."

Grikey mate… You have you no right to either. Its this thing called freedom of the press. Nice try though.

I’ve been a big advocate of companies not funding media or analysts that they deem to be unfairly reporting on them – the media have a right to free speech as much as companies have to free investment of marketing dollars. But even that is a dangerous game.

Given this seems to be an escalating trend it seems smart for all PR teams to get ahead of this issue by briefing both their procurement functions and media buying teams on media policies. A little education might go a long way here…

One Response

  1. By Gavin Clarke on May 31st, 2005 at 10:37 am

    Brand-conscious companies often go through this. From Microsoft to Chanel – yes, the fashion emporium – companies have tried on occasion to mandate the way journalists refer to their products in print. I feel such strategies are either dreamed up by people with little grasp for the nuances of press relations or who feel that by “controlling the press” they can solve any negative perception issues they may be experiencing. Seems like agencies will need to continue falling back on traditional PR skills of “setting the client’s” expectation to manage these situations.

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