The Wall Street Journal online news show, "Digits," also featured PRSA's commentary in a segment recapping news and and industry reaction (mention at 1:17 in program).
“It’s simple," said Fiske. "They [B-M] took the road of misleading and not disclosing who they were representing. In the essence of the public relations code of ethics 101, that’s a no-no.”
Fiske is quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying that, "Burson-Marsteller's lack of disclosure is 'deceptive' and violates [PRSA's] ethical standards.
"When you are following misleading practices, the message is tainted," said Fiske. "Consumers 'wonder what else have they done that perhaps I shouldn't trust.'"
In an interview with The Financial Times, Fiske said that B-M's activity was “unethical and improper," and that companies have to disclose where [they] stand on things."
Speaking with Emma Barnett, a media reporter at the UK's Telegraph, Fiske described the incident as “an embarrassment” to both Facebook and Burson.
“This reflects poorly upon the global public relations profession," she told The Telegraph. "On the whole, public relations practitioners are highly ethical professionals, and our profession’s success and growing value to the business community reflects that. But in this one instance, Burson made a significant ethical lapse.”
Once BM’s full pitch was revealed, big figures in the PR industry starting questioning the ethics of these tactics. “Oh no, say it ain’t so,” wrote Rosanna Fiske, CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, in a blog post responding to the scandal.
The San Francisco Chronicle referenced PRSA's Code of Ethics when it wrote that, "The ethics policies of the Public Relations Society of America state that members shall: 'Reveal the sponsors for causes and interests represented.'"
- PR Pros: Haven't We Learned Anything About Disclosure? (PRSAY, May 11, 2011)
- PRSA Chair/CEO Weighs In on Burson-Marsteller Ethics Flap (Ragan's PRDaily, May 12, 2011)