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    © 2013, Joseph B. Wikert
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« Disney's Gadget Vision | Main | More with Larry Genkin of Blogger & Podcaster Magazine »

May 03, 2007

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Michael A. Banks

It's bad enough when a magazine quashes criticism of advertisers' products--and this has been going on for decades. But what can a magazine do to a company that reduces or eliminates advertising?

I had an experience with this as a reviewer, back in the 1980s. The editor at a major magazine asked me to add some negatives to review of a program because its publisher had reduced advertising from monthly to bi-monthly. (Details on this and some related evenets at my blog, http://mikebanks.blogspot.com/2007/04/can-review-be-too-good.html)

Abuse of editorial power, whether it's by soft-pedaling a product's faults or slamming products that aren't "supported" by advertising, is ethically wrong and potentially damaging to magazines' as well as product's reputations. It's also a lot like payola--at least in the instance I describe in my blog, which boils down to, "Pay us [advertising] and we'll sing your product's praises; don't pay us, and we'll bury it."
--Mike
http://www.michaelabanks.com

Joe Wikert

Hi Mike. Yep, as far as I'm concerned, that sort of thing is just as bad as the PC World situation.

Matthew Weymar

Suggestion: Check out http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/03/harry-would-love-to-talk-with-you/

Scoble has been doing some reconsidering. You may - or may not - want to join him.

Meanwhile, Colin Crawford has addressed McCracken's departure, and criticism the likes of which you offer above, here: http://colincrawford.typepad.com/idg/2007/05/eic_change_at_p.html

Aside: Someone has commented on Scoble's explicit reconsideration of his original point. I like the way he does this. It is very clear, and therefore fair.

Joe Wikert

Hi Matthew. Yes, I saw Scoble's post and also noticed that he pointed back to mine. I'm also glad to see Colin Crawford went ahead and posted about it yesterday afternoon.

Do I feel compelled to change my post like Scoble did? No. I was commenting on the facts as they were appearing elsewhere and although one blogger has changed his opinion (Scoble) and another has weighed in on the situation (Crawford), I can't help but feel there's a lot of posturing going on. (Yes, that's just my opinion, but isn't that also what blogs are for?) It will be interesting to see just how direct/critical PC World is with advertisers (and their products) in future issues.

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