House PR’s “condition attached” invites score a true own goal
We’ve upset a few PRs this week but the award for the man that brought another of them down has to go to Tim Walker, The Telegraph’s ‘Mandrake’ columnist.
Our correspondents Noelle Reno and Claire Rubinstein received great responses to their articles on the nonsensical world of fashion PR but though they stung brilliantly, Walker’s treatment by a ridiculous outfit named House PR was truly laughable. Invited to the Brit awards on behalf of Mastercard, House insisted that Walker (and other journalists) write tweets that they’d prepared for them as a condition to entry.
Walker refused and exposed the “guidelines” he’d received in an interview with the Press Gazette but House didn’t give up. Their managing director, Ginny Paton, responded:
“The role of the PR agency is to pursue all coverage opportunities on behalf of its clients. This includes providing accurate brand references from the outset, for use across all platforms. It is a two-way conversation between the journalist and the PR in order to reach a mutually beneficial outcome”.
Mastercard, themselves, weren’t quite so stupid. They described the actions as “highly inappropriate”. Oh dear: House PR’s list of clients may just have got a little shorter.
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I don’t know much about PR, but I’m suddenly noticing MasterCard more than I ever would have before this debacle…. So surely that’s a good job done by the PR company if Joe Public is recognising the brand now???? Also journalists getting sanctimonious about freebies, isn’t this a bit like big game hunters pretending to be conscientious conservationists?