Rob O’Regan, former Editor in Chief of CMO Magazine (which had it’s plug pulled in January) posted to his (brand new) blog Magnosticism this week about a couple who have blogged their way across the country in an RV staying at Walmart parking lots (which is one of the little quirks of Walmart, RV’s are welcome over night). The rub is, they were sponsored by Edelman, the “global PR firm” at the behest of Walmart itself.
Judah Phillips offered up a chilling link on that post – http://payperpost.com/ – and I’ll quote my own comment made in that regard on that post:
Wow, could this be the effect “they” warned us about? Journalism with the code of ethics filed off?
Payperpost is scary in it’s implications – legions of hired guns writing whatever their paid to write, without any disclaimer. Talk about advertorial in it’s most incideous form.
I’m working on a corporate blog now, and quite often the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as suggestions are made. Perhaps it’s the vestigal ethics instilled in me by the editors of by gone eras, like Gerry Goggins, Dave Mawson and Grove Potter. The truth is that I realize that while I may hold as sacred some, if not all of the ideals from the age of print and dead trees, others are not so encumbered.
Do we not owe our readers full disclosure when we are paid to post? Would not our readers lash back if they were to find they’d been “had”?
Disclosure: I’ve done contract work with CXO Media, parent of CMO and for a time worked under the auspices of Rob R. I have no connection to either Edelmann or to PayPerPost.com