Despite breaking a non-disclosure with a PR rep (above, far left), we slept soundly last night.
Collateral Damage asks: “Hmmm, what if you substitute the words “human being” for PR rep? If you did indeed make a commitment to him then aren’t you obligated to keep it? Isn’t that one of the reasons Consumerist exists: To record when companies do not keep their commitments to their consumers?”
A PR rep is not the same as a human being. Consumers are the victims, often of PR folk’s disinformation campaigns.
Here’s what happened: months later, we told a small podcast two details about the off-the-record conversation. A week later, Krempasky wrote us an email dripping with thinly veiled venom. We exchanged emails increasing in rancor. At the end, we decided we were sick of keeping the conversation secret anymore and decided to out it all.
We may be paid and thereby “pro” bloggers, but we never went to j-school. There’s no “ethics” class at Gawker University. We do have a duty to a good story.
What’s of greater service to consumers and reader? Not reneging to a PR agent on his influence peddling session with you or disclosing or how Walmart, through said agent, is trying to squelch blogosphere dissent? In this case, you got a twofer. A bargain!
Looking back, we regret saying, “Ok” when Krempasky declared, “This is off the record.” However, we don’t regret breaking that promise, and will gladly do it again for our readers. Using “professional courtesy” to hide the influence peddling of the agents of the world’s largest retailer is the very skulduggery and backroom dick-shaking we abhor.
One regret does linger… that we didn’t kiss and tell sooner.