Marketers are using bribery and underhand tactics to improve their coverage in the press, a US survey has found.
According to the fifth annual PRWeek and Manning Selvage & Lee Marketing Management Survey, 17 per cent of senior marketers say their companies have bought advertising in return for a news story.
Other respondents also revealed different methods they used to make sure they were included in the pages, with seven per cent saying they had an ongoing non-verbal agreement with a reporter or editor who had agreed to bolster their image in return for advertising.
A further five per cent said they had wooed editors with unofficial payments or gifts.
Global chief executive officer of MS&L Mark Hass said the results raised an ethical issue.
“These results indicate that there continues to be a group of marketing executives that do not respect the proper role of news media,” he said.
“Even the smallest percentage of people who are willing to pay in return for a news story creates an ethical issue that the marketing industry needs to address.”