A matter of principles – and practice

28 Oct

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations ‘is opposed in principle to the practice [of charging for editorial]’. Yet it can’t enforce this position among its members. So far, so sensible. I oppose the dishonest business of paying ‘colour separation charges’, but have used the slightly-less-disreputable advertorial approach in my time. And I can imagine many struggling trade publications relying on much more ‘support’ from industry if they’re to survive.

But I don’t agree with the suggestion that the following disclaimer be added to our news releases: ‘This news release is issued in accordance with clause 1.2j of the British Codes of Advertising and Sales Promotion and therefore cannot be subject to a transaction of any kind’. Though intended to protect us from unwanted sales calls, it instead flags up a news release as the lowest form of sales promotion: one with no value attached to it (news or financial). Who’d want that?

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