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PR survey indicates editorial credibility in tatters

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New York—In the latest blow to editorial credibility and the crumbling of the wall between church and state, nearly half of senior marketing executives (48.9%) said they have paid for an editorial or broadcast news placement, according to a PRWeek/Manning Selvage & Lee survey conducted by Millward Brown.

According to the survey, 24% of senior marketing executives said their companies had paid for an editorial placement; 9% said their companies had paid for a broadcast placement; and 15.8% said their companies had paid for both. Additionally, 45.6% of all respondents who indicated their companies had never paid for a placement said they would consider it in the future.

"The question of editorial credibility is as critical for the future of the PR profession as it is for consumers and the media," said Mark Hass, CEO of MS&L, in a statement. "If people with big marketing budgets think they can buy a story, it rubs against the very premise of earned media: the notion that there is an objective brain filtering the information. The bottom line is that no reputable marketer should pay for a news placement. It must be earned."

The annual survey, now in its fourth year, polled 266 U.S. chief marketing officers, marketing VPs and marketing directors.

—Carol Krol

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