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Posts Tagged ‘Consumer Electronics Conference’

PR Fail: CBS Bans Dish Products from CES Awards Consideration

C|Net CES Yesterday brought news of the most interesting story to emerge from this year’s Consumer Electronics Conference. It’s a classic tale of media ethics gone wrong, and we see it as a major PR fail.

Despite being America’s worst employer, Dish Network occasionally comes up with some cool tech innovations. Prime example: the Hopper with Sling DVR that gives users the power to enjoy “live streaming of every channel from anywhere”. Yeah, it’s a big deal, and CES organizer C|NET nominated the Hopper for its “Best of CES” awards. One problem, though: Fox, CBS and pretty much every major network has filed suit against Dish for allowing viewers to “hop” or skip over all commercials. Oh, and CBS is CNET’s parent company.

So what did CBS do? They banned all Dish products from CES awards consideration/promotion, citing the ongoing lawsuit. Not only is CNET prohibited from giving the award to dish–they can’t even review any Dish products. Here’s the disclaimer:

The Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp. We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.

If you think this resembles a blatant case of shutting down the competition, you’re right.

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Edelman Switches Sides, Joins the ‘Paid Content’ Team

Edelman PRIn a sign of the (changing) times, yesterday saw Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, perform something of an about-face on an issue crucial to our industry’s ongoing “PR vs. Advertising” debate. In a blog post on the firm’s site, Edelman declared his newfound (if somewhat grudging) support for “paid” media/content as a valuable element of the PR arsenal.

Why did he change his mind? What led him to accept the idea that PR professionals must simultaneously pitch and create content? In short, promotional trends like sponsored stories and native advertising have changed the media game as companies scramble to develop new revenue streams to replace the dwindling profits of traditional advertising sales.

We’ve all read stories asserting the same, but recent months have clarified the fact that PR firms must aggressively make the most of the shift or risk losing opportunities to “media buying firms” that work directly with brands in another iteration of the traditional advertiser/client relationship.

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