Edelman/Microsoft laptop kerfuffle in PR Week

PR Week UK has a full-page feature on page 18 of this week’s edition (Jan 12 cover date) about the Edelman/Microsoft Vista blogger relations kerfuffle entitled “Are freebies a blogosphere taboo?”

This is a topic that has produced lots of opinions around the blogosphere and beyond, including from listeners to almost every edition of the FIR podcast over the past few weeks.

The PR Week article has lengthy quotes from four people including me with their opinions on the pros and cons of giving out products for review to bloggers.

Of note – no one mentions the word ‘ethics’ in their views. Of course not – this isn’t an ethics issue, it’s a tactical PR cock-up.

Shel and I did the FIR Ethics Skypecast on Saturday during which this topic was a discussion point. We’ll be posting that podcast during this week.

Related: Edelman’s Rick Murray was interviewed by PR Week US earlier this month in which he defended the ethics of their blogger outreach. As I opined in FIR #202, I didn’t think much of this quote by Rick in the interview: “The reality is, from the standpoint of ethics and disclosure, we did this by the book.”

Ethics I’d agree, but disclosure ‘by the book’? I don’t think so.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. DofAM

    Yeah, I agree. There’s nothing wrong with providing bloggers free samples to comment on, but you have to be above the board and disclose that you work for so and so’s agency of record. Further, you cannot expect a good review. The product must stand on it’s own.

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