Embargo Watch

Keeping an eye on how scientific information embargoes affect news coverage

Quid pro quo: Earned media = priceless. For everything else, there’s MasterCard

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brit awardsQuid pro quo seemed to be alive and well at last night’s Brit Awards, featuring One Direction and Ellie Goulding — at least if the PR agency handling media for sponsor MasterCard had had their way.

PressGazette reports that a reporter asking for access to the event received this email:

[I]n return for this ticket we would like to ask that you agree to the following…

Social media support from both publication and personal Twitter feed

Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises

Event night – live tweeting from the event including @MasterCardUK handle and #PricelessSurprises and to retweet @MasterCardUK tweets throughout the night where appropriate

Post event – tweet directing followers to @MasterCardUK BRITs YouTube videos

Pre-event coverage of MasterCard’s Priceless Surprise video edits with either Laura Mvula, Kylie Minogue and/or Pharrell Williams – to include full credit for MasterCardUK and #PriclessSurprises

All features to be pushed on publications social feeds – to include @MasterCardUK and #PricelessSurprises

MasterCard inclusion in post event write-up (print and online) including #PriclessSurprises hashtag and somethingforthefans.co.uk URL

Post event write up presence on publication homepage (where possible)

Inclusion of MasterCard branded event night images in post event piece

Post event – coverage support for MasterCard music activity in 2014 (Beyonce & JT)

PressGazette asked the PR firm handling press for Mastercard for comment:

Ginny Paton, managing director at House PR, said: “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. Editorial control always remains with the journalist.”

Mastercard issued the following statement: “We have become aware of this situation and have been clear with our agency and attending media. Attendance at the Brits is not, nor has it ever been, a condition of coverage or endorsement. To imply such is highly inappropriate.”

Ah, the old “mutually beneficial” approach to working with the media. Where have I heard that before, Erik Vance?

Time for a new slogan: “Earned media = priceless. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”

Hat tip: Vincent Baby

Written by Ivan Oransky

February 20, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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