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PR’s Bad Press

This time from the NYT

“The Armstrong Williams scandal is an example of the close coordination between the advertiser and the commentator,” said Sheldon Rampton, research director at the Center for Media and Democracy, a left-leaning nonprofit group that tracks abuses in the public relations business. “In terms of journalistic traditions, that violates disclosure and conflicts-of-interest principles.”

….Temptations to push the ethical envelope abound. “We’re going through a period of a huge jolt, and now more than ever we have to teach our account people a moral compass,” said Richard W. Edelman, president of Edelman, the nation’s largest independent public relations firm. “Every piece of information we put out, in theory, can go directly to the end user without any mediation. But our job today is still to bring to the media a credible story.”

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