Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category

Service of When it Works it’s a Beautiful Thing: Baruch P.R. Helps Turn a Lemon into Champagne

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Baruch Coillege 060913

Large organizations that listen to their P.R. counsel can often work magic when things go wrong, which, of course, they inevitably do. That is what just happened at Baruch College, where I’m involved in a mentoring program. Baruch is part of the massive and complex City University of New York system, one of the most extensive and decentralized educational institutions in the state.

Baruch in ManhattanBaruch, as do other city and state colleges, charges students who are New York residents a significantly lower tuition than it does those from out-of-state. For some reason it had been charging tuition for a recently admitted student, Matthew Levy, a lifelong New Yorker, at the “out-of-state” rate. When Baruch caught the error, it informed Levy that in future he would be billed at the lower “residents” rate.

Not unreasonably, however, he decided to seek reimbursement of the approximately $7,000 he had overpaid and approached a clerk in the school’s admissions department to help him. The clerk told him: “Normally, if you paid, you don’t get your money back,” but that he could file an appeal, including as evidence of his New York State residency, copies of his driver’s license and voter registration card.

Matthew, no fool, went one step further. He also wrote to David Segal “The Haggler” in the Sunday New York Times Business Section and asked for his help to expedite the refund. 

Christina Latouf, Baruch VP Communications

Christina Latouf, Baruch VP Communications

Segal wrote: “The Haggler contacted Christina Latouf, a spokeswoman for the college. She needed a day or two to figure out what had happened, and then she wrote something rather remarkable. In an e-mail, she said that the school not only took responsibility for stumbling blocks inserted between Mr. Levy and his refund, but also that changes would be made so that such errors don’t happen again. Those changes include working with the City University of New York — of which Baruch is part — to review out-of-state designations.

“‘Further, if a student’s initial documentation indicates they have always been a New York State resident, we will no longer request additional documentation,’ Ms. Latouf wrote.”

Baruch StudentsSegal praised Baruch for changing its system: “Do you hear that, dear readers? It is the sweet sound of modest reform, a noise as rare as the quack of the Scaly Sided Merganser.”

He continued: “‘At the heart of this case was an incorrect coding designation,’ Ms. Latouf wrote, in conclusion. ‘While we have put some measures in place (such as the one that triggered our initial outreach to Matthew), we will build and utilize new technologies to put more safeguards in place, and train staff to assure coding is accurate.’

Baruch students 2“True, soothing and conciliatory words are cheap. But Baruch is off to a good start. Two days after the Haggler called, the school contacted Mr. Levy, and that same afternoon he e-mailed the Haggler a photograph of a document waiting for him at the bursar’s office: a check for $7,245.”

I’ve met Latouf, who is Vice President for Communications, External Relations and Economic Development at Baruch, and dashed off a note to congratulate her. She responded: “It was a lot of work, but we’re all very pleased to have been able to turn a potentially negative story into a positive.” 

She did more than that: She showed the world what a well-oiled organization she works for. Who couldn’t admire the speed of the reform? Baruch includes 1,500 full time academic and administrative staff and more than 17,000 students. That someone in the administration listened to the communications VP and agreed to and implemented changes at warp speed shows trust. Like The Haggler, I think this is unusual and laudable.

Do you?

Baruch Logo

Service of Apology II

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Apologies

The topic of Rick Wolff‘s radio program “The Sports Edge,” on WFAN–it focuses on children’s sports–continued to be coaches who bully, in the aftermath of the Rutgers basketball scandal. During yesterday’s show he said he’s heard of countless examples of bullying in other school and college sports programs and asked listeners to share examples.

One of the callers was a wrestling coach who admitted to losing it after he observed one of his best athletes giving up at a major tournament after the first round of three. He said he dressed down the student the next day, screaming, yelling, using the f-bomb, underscoring what a disappointment the kid was to himself and if this wasn’t bad enough, he did it in front of the team.

wrestlingHe said that he immediately met with the student’s parents to apologize to them and the young man and then he met with each of the families of the other team members and did the same thing.

Meanwhile, last week, Rupert Murdoch refused to apologize for the New York Post‘s decision to run images of two men who were not the Boston Marathon bombers. “On Media” Politico.com columnist Dylan Byers reported that the Murdoch-owned paper was the only major print publication to use the photos.

FBIMurdoch said that as soon as the FBI changed course–it was they who had distributed the photos but it wasn’t clear that the bureau meant the media to receive them–the paper removed the photos. As Byers noted, Murdoch obviously couldn’t delete them from the already-distributed printed copies.

In a statement, wrote Byers, the paper’s editor-in-chief, Col Allan, wrote that the two men weren’t identified as suspects. The headline associated with the image: “Bag Men: Feds Seek These Two Pictured at the Boston Marathon.” The bag reference was to the bags they carried.

So what about the reputations of the young men implicated by the headline that flirted with accusation? Are they collateral damage in the quest to be first with the news so it’s OK?

I’m sure that a smart lawyer could figure out a slippery way for Murdoch or Allan to sound as though they were sorry should their coverage have given the “Bag Men” or their families a start. Maybe one of them, like the coach, will meet with the young men.

Are public figures so afraid of being sued that they won’t apologize? Or is it a macho thing? Does this attitude then filter down to the rest of us so that often vendors respond “no problem” instead of “I’m sorry” when you ask them to right a mistake? Or have some successful people forgotten that they can and do make errors and that the thing to do is to apologize?

Sorry

 

Service of Stupidity

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

paper-boy

David Reich writes a blog “my 2 cents,” musings on marketing, media, public relations….and life. He founded Reich Communications, a NYC-based PR and marketing company years ago. I have been lucky to work on projects with him. He rarely complains.

When he asked to share this experience, I knew we’d want to read about it because his nose for news is perfect pitch [an apt reference as he also loves jazz].

David wrote:

I get The Wall Street Journal delivered to my office every day.

I, frankly, don’t remember how much I pay for the subscription or when it expires. I recall that when I ordered it, it was a good deal, maybe something like $9.95/mo. But it’s just not one of those things I normally give much thought to.

customer-service21I had a call this morning from The Journal offering me “their best deal” of $29.95/mo and I’d get two months free. So that comes to about what I seem to recall I’ve been paying per month, although maybe not such a great deal after three months.

At that moment, I didn’t remember what I’ve been paying. So I asked the nice man on the phone how much I’m now paying. He said he didn’t have that information.

I then asked him when my subscription expires. He said he didn’t have that information.

He then asked to confirm my address, and he gave me the address that I moved away from two months ago. I gave him my new address and also told him I’ve been getting the paper here at the new place since we moved. He had no information on the new address.

8001I then asked him how he expected me to make a purchase decision without key information that he should have – like how much I’ve been paying and how much longer my subscription is paid. He started to tell me I could call the Journal’s subscription number – 1-800 something.

But we didn’t get that far, because I politely told the guy I didn’t have time to call to get information about my account that he should have when he called me. The call wasted about four minutes of my valuable time, and it also wasted the time of the person who’s getting paid at the Journal’s call center.

Customer service? No, more like service of stupidity.

You’ve got to scratch your head, but think of all the companies that plunk staffers on the phone who have no clue beyond the script they’re given and/or are not prepped with sufficient backup information to do their jobs properly. Can you share such instances?

head-scratcher21

Service of Saving Money

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

savingmoney

Who doesn’t want to save money, especially these days?

My friend Clotilde, [she asked me to use this pseudonym], told me about how some in one industry are approaching this objective although she didn’t cotton to the approach. Clotilde heard the story on NPR. I read David Folkenflik’s coverage in “Fake Bylines Reveal Hidden Costs Of Local News” on wbur.org.

oldfashionednewsroomFolkenflik wrote that major newspapers in Chicago, Houston and San Francisco admitted that they published print and/or online items under fake bylines.

That’s the least of it. According to Folkenflik, “As was first disclosed by the public radio program ‘This American Life,’ the items in question were not written by reporters on the staffs of the papers at all but by employees of what is effectively a news outsourcing firm called Journatic.

“‘How do you get police blotters from 90 towns? It’s not easy. But that’s what we do,’ says Brian Timpone, a former television reporter and small-town newspaper owner who created what became Journatic six years ago.”

strapped-for-cashFolkenflik continued, “Journatic has dozens of clients, many of them strapped for cash but all hungry to serve up local news for their readers.”

Worth repeating: I’ve found that daily newspapers are turning to syndicated stories to fill their pages rather than to spend money for reporters to cover local business news.

Back toFolkenflik:  “‘It’s a short-term cost-cutting measure, and that’s all it is,’ says Tim McGuire, the former editor-in-chief of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who now teaches media business and journalism ethics at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. ‘It’s not a long-term solution to providing local news to people who want it.’”

Journatic has 60 employees and 200 freelancers but what most caught my friend’s attention was that the company hires 100+ people from abroad to write copy. One employee who rewrites the foreigners’  material told Folkenflik that these writers are paid “a pittance.”

Since I began to write this post, the Chicago Tribune, a Journatic client, suspended its relationship when it learned that “the company had published stories with fake bylines and that a writer there had plagiarized a story on TribLocal, the network of suburban papers and hyperlocal websites Journatic published on behalf of Tribune,” according to Julie Moos on pointer.org. The Tribune has brought in a former editor as a consultant to help “the outsourcing company on its processes and standards.”

Are cut-rate solutions like this better than nothing? Do you think such cost-cutting measures will help save newspapers? 

costcutting

Service of a Name

Monday, July 9th, 2012

name-badge

If I bought Bloomingdale’s or Macys, would I change the name to B’s or M’s or at all?

I have trouble remembering the name of NYC bridges when the city fathers and mothers name them after somebody instead of leaving them as I’ve known them–Triboro now Robert F. Kennedy; 59th Street now Ed Koch. The same with buildings: I still think “Pan Am” when others mention MetLife.

wall-street-journal-logo1So I stopped to write this post when I learned that Rupert Mudoch is considering changing the name of The Wall Street Journal to WSJ. Is he that enamoured of Tweets?

I know about shortening names. Much of my American family called me JM and then many on the French side did and in first grade, I chose Jeannie instead of Jeanne-Marie because I hated being called “Gee-Anne Mary.” The mouthful, pronounced correctly or not, was so much longer than anyone else’s name. But I wasn’t a brand with an internationally recognizable logo.

pollingIn The New York Times’ “Behind the Scenes, Behind the Lines” column, Christine Haughney wrote “Murdoch Isn’t the First to Consider Renaming The Wall Street Journal.” The history, according to Haughney: “In 1946, a Princeton, N.J., polling firm concluded that that name was a handicap to the newspaper’s growth, and no part of the name was spared. As recounted by Richard F. Tofel in ‘Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism,’ ‘Both ‘Wall Street’ (with its narrowly financial and Eastern connotations) and ‘Journal’ (evocative of magazines) were said to be problematic.’”

She continued: “This assessment came as Mr. Kilgore was in the midst of guiding The Journal to its stature as one of the nation’s leading newspapers. The names editors considered included World’s Work, The North American Journal and, um, Business Day, Mr. Tofel writes. (That last one has a familiar ring to it.) A former editorial page editor, William Grimes, suggested The National Journal. Kenneth Hogate, Mr. Kilgore’s boss at the time, wanted to call it Financial America.”

When Kilgore became editor and took control–Hogate, who liked the name change idea, had died– he dropped the subject which he didn’t think a good one, Tofel told Haughney.

What do you think of a name change for The Wall Street Journal? What do you think of name changes in general?

name-change

Service of Déjà Vu

Monday, June 25th, 2012

newspapers

This post is about marketing.

I worry about the newspaper industry for more than the obvious reasons: Shrinking readership, slashed editorial budgets, the good reporters are melting away, little competition and negligible investigative reporting. I think many publishers are following a shortsighted, sure-to-fail marketing strategy that I’ve watched others try, one that has landed others facedown in the mud with a splat.

In Jennifer Saba’s article for Reuters: “Analysis: In scare for newspapers, digital ad growth stalls,” she wrote: “As more newspapers cut back on print to reduce costs and focus on their websites, a troubling trend has emerged: online advertising sales are stalling.”

adspacehereWhy?: “A flood of excess advertising space, the rise of electronic advertising exchanges that sell ads at cut-rate prices, and the weak U.S. economy are all contributing to the slowdown, publishing executives and observers say.”

The electronic advertising exchange concept alarms me the most. The rationale behind using them reminds me of the advent of the 800 numbers. Manufacturers bemoaned them for selling their goods at cut-rate prices. [I wondered: "How did your brand get there and did you have no control over this?"] There were severe discounting strategies and licensing frenzies. Some sold goods with their brands posted prominently at both big boxes and boutiques, the former versions of inferior quality. This demeaned their brands leading to the demise of many. In addition, why would anyone pay full freight for a product that was available at umpteen places for half price or less?

Back to the advertising exchanges, Saba explained that they: “…are electronic platforms that allow buyers to bid on and purchase advertising space at drastically reduced prices. Many websites — not just newspaper sites — rely on these exchanges to sell unclaimed advertising spots, known in industry parlance as excess inventory. The thinking is it’s better to get something than nothing at all.”

Saba continued, “But it also trains ad buyers to expect lower advertising prices. ‘It’s like a publisher trying to sell me an Armani suit for $3,000 but I can walk around the corner and buy it from Google for 90 percent less,’ said Shawn Riegsecker, chief executive of Centro, an agency that specializes in buying and selling digital ads, and counts many newspapers as its clients.”

wallpaperWith the strategy of cavernous discounts and helter skelter product placement, manufacturers lost sight of the value–and sizzle–of their lifeblood. Try to Google images for “wallpaper”  and you’ll not see a slice of the decorative kind–just the electronic variety. I cringe to see newspapers follow the same destructive path.

What can stop this spiral? What other product lines or industries have been destroyed by deep dish discounting and sloppy marketing?

spiral

Service of Print

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

print

I continue to see people on trains, subways, in our apartment house [as evidenced by piles left outside front doors for garbage pickup] and in the library who read magazines and newspapers. There is increasing evidence print-vs-tabletthat while the print patient is sick, not all of it is on life support.

My observations are anecdotal, for sure. But take a gander at some of the things I’ve read lately:

From the Wallets of Billionaires

Warren Buffet told The Daily Beast‘s  Howard Kurtz why he has and continues to buy newspapers: “‘It’s not a soft-headed business decision,’ the 81-year-old investor tells me from his Omaha office.” Kurtz continued: “In putting his considerable money where his mouth is-Buffett’s company is in the process of buying 63 Media General newspapers for $142 million-the chief executive is challenging the widespread belief that the industry is trapped in a death spiral.” The papers he’s after “have to serve smaller markets where there is ‘more of a feeling of community,’” wrote Kurtz.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reads eight traditional newspapers a day and says “he prefers magazines the old fashioned way, despite having an iPad,” according to news aggregator Mediabistro.com, covering posts in VentureBeat and FishbowlNY. The news sources remind us that most of Bloomberg’s fortune has been made in the digital news and data service businesses.

Fashion and Beauty’s Youth Appeal

woman-and-magazines1And print isn’t just for old fogies. In Adweek, Emma Bazilian recently covered statistics to prove the point in “Condé Nast Finds Magazine Readership Growing Among Millennials.” Note: I was confused by the word “millennial” in the title as the youngest of the millennials, who can be as old as 37, is 23 yet the article spotlights readers in the 18 to 24 age range.

Nevertheless, “Fashion and beauty magazines attract about 50 percent more young readers than they did in 2001, and while young women typically ‘grew out’ of these titles fairly quickly as they aged, they now read these magazines long after they leave their mid-20s.”

Bazilian continued,  “Men’s magazines also gained ground with the 18-to-24 set, thanks to the addition of lad mags like Maxim and the ‘phenomenal growth’ of male fitness titles such as Men’s Health.” Bazilian was quoting Scott McDonald, svp of market research for the publisher.

Not surprising, the pulse for women’s service and news magazines is increasingly weak. The former, according to the article, didn’t keep up with the fact that most of their readers no longer stay at home and millenials turn to the Internet for news.

Mobility

sonytabletThen there’s Tracie Powell, in Poynter, who wrote “Consumers aren’t rushing to replace their magazine and newspaper subscriptions with mobile news products, according to a new survey by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri.”

Her article, “Survey: Mobile users as likely to be print news subscribers as non-mobile users,” continued “The survey shows that although nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults use at least one mobile device per day, nearly equal percentages of mobile media device users and non-users – 39.8 percent and 40.2 percent respectively–said they still subscribed to at least one newspaper or news magazine, which suggests users of smartphones and tablets aren’t abandoning print media.”

Another of Powell’s points: “The survey shows ‘news consumption ranks fourth among reasons people use mobile devices, behind interpersonal communications, entertainment, and internet usage for information not provided by news organizations.’”

So where are you on the life of print? Am I looking at mortally wounded vehicles of communication and sources of information, placing hope on the thinnest strands of signs of life? Will the publishing industry–and some of the billionaires who continue to enjoy holding paper when they read–find ways to save print?

old-fashioned-ambulance

Service of News that Makes Kerfuffles

Friday, September 10th, 2010

kerfuffle

The strangest things make it to the top of the news pile and even though I’ve been related to this business most of my life, I’ll never understand why some big news lands on page 12 or on the cutting room floor and how insignificant tidbits stagnate in headlines and on the tips of talk show host lips for days and weeks.

I’m thinking of the Quran-burning Reverend Terry Jones. [Quran is the new spelling of Koran, I've read.] How did he get heard to begin with? Slow news period? A fellow like this with few credentials and an insignificant following who is up to no good would hardly get the ear of the editor of a weekly in most towns. Had he burned Qurans in Florida on September 11, who would have known-10 of his 50 congregants? Yikes: The Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates is involved. Next, Jones will make millions on a book and no doubt will run for office. He’s so successful in getting out his message and [hateful] brand that he could join a PR/marketing agency.

cameraDoes the photographer Andres Serrano ring any bells? He’s known for “Piss Christ,” an image with a crucifix in a glass container filled with urine. He shot it in 1987, according to Wikipedia. It has appeared in exhibits around the country. Read much about an outrage? Heard any famous people chime in? Neither did I.

Remember Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary,” a painting that was part of the exhibit called “Sensation”? The painting, featuring dung on the Virgin Mary, went unnoticed in London but when it was hung at The Brooklyn Museum from fall 1999 to early 2000, some, such as Mayor Giuliani, protested while others shrugged. 

skyscrapersTo lighten up a bit, I’ll close by reminiscing about a grownup game of telephone with huge impact that closed offices in New York City within a matter of hours. It happened in the 1980s, years before email and cell phones. Staff in skyscrapers at companies large and small told their bosses that they had heard from friends in other companies that their offices were closing early due to a forecast of dangerously high winds described by meteorologists in feverish weather reports. I was one of the many directed to leave work early that day. When I returned to the usually windy street near my then apartment, my hair barely moved–the air was so calm. I remember thinking, “Why can’t I get my client’s messages to move around NYC this fast?”

Two examples of public disrespect of one religion hardly make a ripple. Any ideas why? It’s enough to make one think that only victims who are bullies get any attention around here.

Please share instances of big stories that generated small play or stories–and people–blown up far bigger than they should be by media. Tell us about local news that you’ve seen take off, fueled by unwarranted panic.

 tallshort

Service When It’s Great

Friday, July 30th, 2010

barometer

A recent American Express Global Customer Service Barometer inspired me to cover instances of great service again-it’s been a while. The Barometer reported that Americans will pay an average of nine percent more to receive quality customer service and that 61 percent noted that in this economic environment, service is more important to them.

The latter surprises me because I expect top quality service regardless of the economy, but I digress.

Happy Surprise

aptroofI was having guests on the roof of our NYC apartment and lined up some volunteers to help me install the chair cushions, stored elsewhere both to preserve them as well as to keep them from flying off and injuring someone. When I got home that day the super-and he is-told me that the cushions were already on the chairs and the tables all cleaned–a blessing on a sweltering day.

Four Star Credit Card Bill Resolution

creditcardbillMy heart sank when I saw my credit card bill this month because it showed a finance charge and an unexpectedly large total. My habit is to pay the full amount so as to avoid both instances. I no longer get back my checks or even facsimiles, and I didn’t make a copy of the check mailed, so I figured I was up the creek. The issuer-USAA-which has never let me down, came through again. I asked the customer service rep to look at my payment history. He put me on hold and on his return didn’t question me and told me to delete the finance charge. It wasn’t  so much money, yet I was so relieved that I didn’t have to argue or speak with a thousand people.

Immaculate Delivery Follow-Up

newspaper-deliveryThe Wall Street Journal is delivered to the office. In the last month or so, it’s gone missing on three occasions when nobody in the building received a paper, according to the responsible man at reception. The third time it happened, I called the Journal and a copy came by messenger within an hour. I subsequently received emails from the paper and the newspaper delivery business as well as a phone call from the newspaper delivery concern’s customer service department. I was impressed at how much they wanted to keep the Journal’s and my business.

Exemplary Honesty

caraccidentWe totaled the car earlier this year and our trusty warhorse, with close to 135,000 miles on it, was sent to car heaven. Before it left, we visited it one last time at a garage a few towns away where someone representing the insurance company had seen it and determined that it wasn’t worth repairing. We were there to retrieve the stuff in it, though we could only open one door and the trunk. A week or so later, my husband got a letter with a $20 bill in it from what he thought was an employee of the car cemetery. The letter explained that the writer had found the bill in the car. So my husband wrote the chairman of the insurance company-USAA again-to let him know what a great supplier he had.  In return, he got two telephone calls from USAA until the rep found him in. He thanked my husband for the letter, and told him that the man who had returned his money actually worked for USAA and that he would be commended for what he’d done.

Friends Who Help

blackcatMy last example is the service of friends. I was one train stop from where I get off on Friday night when my husband called to tell me he was stuck with a flat tire in a torrential storm. I reached the only car service in the vicinity and the woman explained that she couldn’t pick me up because of a fair going on in town so she couldn’t get near the station.

For years, I’d patted the cat of a couple who traveled on the same train and who got off a few stops north of mine. Their cat purred so loudly you’d hear him even if you were seated four or five rows away. People don’t generally speak with strangers on this train, but we began to chat. On hearing of my situation they immediately told me they’d drive me home. They live in the opposite direction, it was late, and their kitty gets carsick but they didn’t hesitate. I know it’s not service when friends do you a huge favor, but the feeling of gratitude is similar.

Do you have examples of great service to share?

service

Service of Full Disclosure

Friday, July 16th, 2010

full-disclosure

In his column, The Ethicist, Randy Cohen wrote recently in The New York Times, “Your wife should err on the side of caution and not take anything of value from a supplier.” The woman supervised travel for a company and she’d won the grand raffle prize of two roundtrip tickets to Japan at an event sponsored by several airlines. There were some 1,000 guests.

matchbookIn my first job out of college I worked at Dun & Bradstreet writing credit reports. We were told that if a company we visited manufactured matchbooks not to take a single match, even to light a cigarette. That has been my guideline ever since.

Yet I think that Cohen is being harsh in this instance. He softens at the end of the column, noting to the husband who sent in the query, “At the least, she must disclose her winnings to her supervisors and get their green light before she packs her bags.” I’m comfortable with that.

Some in the media won’t let a PR person buy them so much as a cup of coffee. Others gather enough loot over years to fill a strip mall. Reporters and editors don’t have a lot of time to schmooze over lunch these days, nevertheless, just as business is done by some on a golf course, I can’t imagine how, for the price of a lunch or a coffee, anyone would sell their soul and run photos of horrible looking, poorly made or faulty goods in a new product column or run positive coverage of a lackluster ad campaign or sleazy business.

bookstarsWhat about a book or movie reviewer who is sent/given a galley or invited to preview the flick? I don’t recall reading in their reviews that they didn’t pay for the book or seat at the theatre and it doesn’t bother me. What about a beauty editor sent samples that aren’t samples but entire bottles and jars? No problem in my mind. Making up samples would cost a fortune and wouldn’t provide the same experience. Packaging–how the beauty product looks and how the dispenser works–is part of the evaluation.

Full disclosure: I send promo codes to reviewers who ask for them so they can try a client’s smartphone application and have given hundreds of yards of fabric and countless rolls of wallpaper and dinnerware and flooring to be used for newspaper or magazine new product pages or to decorate a home that a magazine photographs.

Obviously, if a company pays any of the reviewers for their assessments, they must disclose this relevant piece of information, whether they write for a blog, web site, an online or print newspaper or magazine. Special sections or advertorials are paid for by the participants and are clearly identified by publishers, usually at the top of the page.

Because attitude and service are more than half of the experience, I think that a restaurant, hotel or travel reviewer should be anonymous and pay for all his/her expenses, no exceptions. 

What about stock brokers? Should they tell you that they’ve been told to push an investment by the boss?

Where do you stand on full disclosure? Do you care?

full-disclosure2

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