Monday, January 17, 2005


The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy article on a dirty secret of our business -- gimmes, or as the article says, "swag" that journalists take freely and sometimes demand for coverage. "Swag" has always been part of the business. In the Post-Nixon, Watergate era, there was a crackdown on reporters taking expensive swag like cases of liquor, but there were always little giveaways they could take with them. The article seems to indicate the problem has grown out of control again -- at least in entertainment PR.

Reporters can claim ethics all they want, but when they demand dresses and abscond with expensive items they prove themselves no better than anyone else. That is natural, of course. They are human. Give credit to PR practitioners for understanding that and feeding the habit for their own purposes. But there are limits and it looks to me as if they might be getting out of control in the LA basin.


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