Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Aiming to shoot the messenger but hitting the foot


NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Days after financial services giant Morgan Stanley informed print publications that its ads must be automatically pulled from any edition containing "objectionable editorial coverage," global energy giant BP has adopted a similar press strategy.

Zero tolerance
According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP's media-buying agency, WPP Group's MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward editorial coverage it is not informed about in advance, "regardless of whether editorial is deemed positive or negative."

I guess BP stands for Bad Publicity. Morgan Stanley has taken a similar move.

Their actions preclude the possibility of good publicity, for any editor who ran a positive piece under these conditions would lose credibility. I’m with Andy Lark; it is one thing to pull advertising after a hatchet job, quite another to ask for advance notice of any coverage of any kind. Public relations is meaningless without an independent press.

Phil Gomes

Bob LeDrew

John Wagner

Silicon Valley Watcher

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