Senior executives at Canon-owned Axis, Milestone, and Arcules have joined "Forbes Councils", which tout themselves as "elite business communities" offering the chance to publish articles on Forbes.com for "connections, visibility, and growth".
Forbes says Councils are "invitation only" but they are "fee-based" and offer ghostwriting and other services for extra money. Forbes Councils have also faced criticism over ethics, low actual visibility, and spamming members.
Axis defended its membership saying it has "provided us with valuable insight, increased visibility, and new connections". Milestone said they "understand the critique of the system" and "agree it is a pay to play approach", but still find the Councils "useful for getting feedback on ideas from a limited audience".
In this post, IPVM examines the Councils and video surveillance executives' participation.
One other interesting element is that Forbes is in the process of SPACing, raising $200 million from a cryptocurrency company. When I first saw it, I thought it was a spoof since both SPACs and cryptocurrency companies have been so heavily criticized. But this is really Forbes's plan. From the company's February 2022 announcement:
Forbes, the iconic business information brand that convenes and curates the most influential leaders driving change, and Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited (NYSE: OPA) (“Magnum Opus”), a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, today announced a $200 million strategic investment from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure providers
Maybe these execs like the idea of being part of a Forbes "council" but beyond the ethics of pay to play, I am doubtful of how much such efforts help their businesses.
By contrast, while I and many have been critical of Verkada giving away Yeti tumblers, as a marketing plan, it has far more upside as an incentive to get prospects to consider you and a long-term branding tool inside their homes or offices.