The blog announces that Vicks VapoRub sent about $400 in goodies to a Reuters writer – not even a fulltime employee. One wonder how many other journalists received these gifts. EW writes:
“Product samples are one thing, if they’re of minimal value and a reporter needs them to write about a new release – although I should note that it’s still preferable to have journalism outlets pay for the products, and there was no actual VapoRub in the package. …
But this is just ridiculous. Does the PR agency that came up with this — DeVries Public Relations – think that ethical reporters will accept all of these gifts? Does Vicks’ parent company, Procter and Gamble?
I’m not sure how sending this much of value to a reporter supposedly covering a story fits into ethics guidelines from the Public Relations Society of America or the International Association of Business Communicators. When I send this package back to DeVries, I’ll include a copy of this post so they can think a little bit more about the campaign.”