Thursday, August 04, 2005

Area Blog Reads Press Release, Blogs About It

Chicagoist is a fine website...one I usually enjoy reading (for readers outside of Chicago, it's part of the Gothamist family). However, today they have a post that is nothing more than a press release. How did this happen? Here's the most likely scenario.
1. They received an invitation to a promotional event - in this case, for a new bottled water called Contrex.
2. They attended party, eat cheese, drank wine.
3. They then blogged about new product, seemingly quoting from promotional materials handed out at the party.

Now, as someone who gets my fair share of offers for freebies and comps, they're nothing wrong with attending these events - either out of curiosity, professional interest... or even for the free chardonnay. But when you take the extra step and present mundane products as worthy of "news" or even as a blog post - you cross a line. And I'm not talking about some nostalgic notion of journalism and ethics. What makes me so angry is that you've just been played like a fiddle by the PR folks who organized the whole thing. Really - let me ask, was this new water so fantastic? Did it really taste any different from the bottle of Aquafina on your desk? Next time, just drink their booze and leave.