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Mere weeks after the PR world was shocked with news of unethical product review practices of client-developed iPhone apps by Reverb Communications, the profession is again faced with revelations of supposedly unethical practices, this time stemming from the undisclosed use of paid spokespeople by the toy industry as supposedly third-part, objective experts on local TV newscasts throughout the country, as Los Angeles Times media columnist Jim Rainey chronicled last week.
This glaring example of ethical misgivings from the toy industry brings clear an ugly truth in the new world of public relations: what is often best for the client is increasingly winning out over what is most ethical and best for consumers.
And that’s bad news for anyone serious about seeing the profession evolve and thrive. Continue reading