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June 17, 2011

PRSA Quoted in E-Commerce Times on Ethics of Pay-for-Play in Tech PR Sector

Arthur Yann, APR, PRSA vice president of public relations, was quoted in the June 17, 2011, issue of E-Commerce Times regarding ethics in public relations and pay-for-play arrangements between PR firms and reporters. Yann's comments came in response to revelations that public relations firm Redner Group threatened to blacklist reporters and/or media outlets that wrote negative reviews about client 2K's "Duke Nukem Forever" game.

Below are Yann's full published comments in E-Commerce Times:

Requiring favorable reviews as a "payment" for exclusive or early access to a new game or service is not a practice the Public Relations Society of America condones, Arthur Yann, the association's VP of public relations, told the E-Commerce Times.

"The fact the Federal Trade Commission now has clear guidelines via its blogger rules regarding the disclosure of a material connection between a blogger and the seller of a product or service should be reason enough for any PR firm engaging in this type of quid-pro-quo practice to immediately stop," he said.

Even without the shadow of government oversight, "ethical public relations requires that PR professionals engage in fair, honest and transparent practices that not only respect all reputable media outlets, but also respects the public's right to be fully informed in how a product was reviewed and how the media outlet's review was influenced, if it was in any way," Yann concluded.

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