Subscriber Discussion

Is This A Poorly Disguised Advertisement Masquerading As Real Journalism?

Rukmini Wilson
Apr 29, 2014

The Integrator/Manufacturer Relationship article: Industry experts weigh in on what an integrator needs from a manufacturer in this day and age

How would you 'weigh in' on this one? ... Wrong. The right answer is actually Salient. :)

Five questions for anyone who knows:

1. Are articles like these paid for with hard invoiced dollars (quid pro quo), or firm advertising contracts (tit for tat) or are they just soft uncontracted 'verbal kickbacks' to the best advertisers?

2. Are these written primarily by the manufacturer or is there significant compositional, albeit biased, effort required on the publisher?

3. At what point does become illegal to take hard cash for writing misleading articles? Only if you claim you don't?

4. Does anyone actually read these and say to themselves: "ok, i guess this informed writer has taken a look at what's out there and seems to think Salient is a good choice here..."

5. Is it my imagination or is the advertisement veil getting thinner these days?

John Honovich
Apr 29, 2014

This is almost every article at Security Today / Security Products. It's their thing.

A few PR people explained it to me roughly as follows: You can get articles placed in Security Today for free. They are definitely looking for other people (read manufacturers / PR people) to submit content so they can minimize their editorial costs / sell advertisements. However, over time, Security Products will turn up the pressure to buy ads / webinars / email blasts, etc.

Video Insight, in particular, has been very aggressive recently in using / partnering / paying Security Products.

Out of all the trade magazines, Security Products is the most transparent / obvious about this sort of thing.

Is the veil getting thinner these days? Sure, and that is a function of the change in the business model / market dynamics of content production. A few years ago, I spoke with a former editor of a major trade pub who ran it in the 1990s. Their explanation was that back then, the trade mags where so flush with money that they could invest in deeper articles and more strongly rebuff manufacturer requests. Now, with the Internet / social media / decline of print, etc., the world has changed.

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