As the trend towards the convergence of journalism and marketing marches ever onward today we celebrate LG’s efforts to buy press for their new phone, the LG G2. We received this email this morning from a member of the Burson Marsteller team in Korea. I’ve left out her name because clearly she’s new over there. It proposes that, in exchange for an unspecified amount of money, we do either an in-depth review of a specific feature of the phone (battery or the display, naturally), or a wild and crazy 1:1 comparison against many devices, including a “torching test.” They’ll even pay for multiple reviews of the phone!
This email is, to be clear, the exception rather than the rule. I’ve never seen such an egregious offering of payola in all the years I’ve been writing for tech sites and this shouldn’t suggest that all phone reviews are tainted – although, to be fair, this doesn’t look very good for folks who may be writing about the G2 in general.
In the early, heady days of blogging company-sponsored junkets and pay for play tactics were often the norm. They were ways for small sites to gain access to the wider world of technology and allowed us (and I’m as guilty as the next blogger) to cover things we wouldn’t normally cover. Those days are no more, however, and the vast majority of writers I talk to now refuse to accept the largesse of well-heeled clients. We’ll run banner ads all day long – that’s none of my concern – we just won’t let ad dollars control our coverage.
So enjoy this, LG. The G2 is now tainted and will probably sink. I’m no crusader nor am I innocent of past crimes but this is terrible form.
Hi TechCrunch team,
This is REDACTED from Burson Marsteller Korea and we currently represent LG Mobile as its PR agency, handling the global PR for LG Mobile.
I’d like to inquire possible options on media tie-up opportunities with TechCrunch as LG is launching its new smartphone, the LG G2 in August.
To briefly explain, what kind of topics we are looking to put out:
1. Overall product review on the LG G2 (Display, Design, UX, etc): This can be a series of feature articles
2. In-depth review on a specific feature of the phone (For example – Battery or Display)
3. Product review of the LG G2 in comparison with competitor’s products: 1:1 comparison or 1 against many, including a torching test
It would be great if you can propose the types of sponsored packages as well as a rough pricing information on them.
Please let us know if you have any questions!