Nearly One in Five Marketing Execs Admit to Pay-for-Play

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The kicker in the 6th Annual PRWeek/Manning Selvage & Lee Marketing Management Survey released this week (subscription only) is that 19% of marketing execs say the companies they work for have engaged in some form of pay-for-play PR.

The survey, conducted by Millward Brown also found that “10 percent of senior marketers said their organizations have had an implicit/non-verbal agreement with a reporter or editor that anticipated favorable coverage of their company or products in exchange for advertising. And 8 percent, or about one in 12, said their organizations paid or provided a gift of value to an editor/producer to place a news story about their company or one of its products.”

According to MS&L CEO Matt Hass in the release, the damage being done is to the media properties: “Without full disclosure and transparency, media lose credibility and their value as an unbiased source of information for consumers.”

More after the jump:


The survey also addressed the oh-so-tempting areas of fake blogs and sock puppeteering and found that 53 percent of respondents feel the marketing industry as a whole is not following ethical guidelines for new media. “The online world creates a whole new unsettling platform for marketers who are willing to engage unethically,” said Hass.