ad:tech Apologizes for Pay-for-play Emails

Yesterday Peter Kafka of AllThingsD published in its entirety, a solicitation from a person hired by ad:tech offering discounted admission in exchange for positive blog posts, Tweets, or Facebook updates about the industry conference.

ad:tech’s Event Director Mike Flynn issued an apology, “We Messed Up” explaining the strategy was hastily implemented with just a few weeks till the conference. The email was sent to bloggers and journalists who had attended in the past. Kafka, PRNewser and likely a number of others received it.

My co-editor confirmed by phone yesterday that the person who sent the emails neither works internally at ad:tech, or at their PR firm Edelman.

Flynn’s full statement is after the jump:

Dear ad:tech readers,

Today, we sent an email to a select group of past ad:tech attendees presenting them with an offer to post tweets for ad:tech in exchange for a free expo pass or discounted conference admittance. We now realize how wrong this was and apologize whole-heartedly for suggesting that we buy anyone’s personal endorsement. I’ve been around long enough to know that pay-to-play is not appropriate in any situation. It was a foolish move. With only a few weeks before our New York event, we hastily drafted this offer without proper thought or consideration. We immediately canceled the program as soon as we realized our error.

We appreciate the loyalty so many of you have shown ad:tech.

We fully respect Peter Kafka, and others who emailed us, for bringing this error to our attention. Please accept our sincere apologies.

Mike Flynn
Event Director
ad:tech North America