Last month WSJ sister title Money Marketing reported that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme wants to pay a PR firm up to £180,000 a year to “raise awareness”. The response was not what was expected.
On the day the piece was published, a phone rang on the newsdesk: “You don’t know me but I saw your piece and wondered if you could provide more info on the contract.” It was a PR firm that wanted to pitch for the job.
WSJ understands the worthy hack responsible for the inadvertent advertorial likes to think of himself as a member of the glorious fourth estate, keeping the powerful in check. Now we know that’s not the case, but there’s just no telling him and he was inconsolable.
Said hack asked us to pass on his apologies for essentially acting as a conduit for an organisation that regularly whacks our beloved readers with high levies. It may comfort you to know he has been banished to Australia – ok, he’s going of his own free will, but at least he won’t be able to do this again.
So what could these spinners come up with for £15,000 a month? WSJ is willing to bet there’s a poster campaign, maybe some TV and radio ads and, if the spinners are feeling really creative, maybe a storyline in EastEnders. Easy money.