First an apology for not writing for a while - things all got a bit hectic over the weekend and somehow I was left stranded away from my computer!
Anyway I am back now. I see that the subject of press gifts are in the news again. The question here is is it ethical to attempt to sway press persons with gifts and press packs? A lot of people may think that this is testimony to bribery, however (as ever) I think that there is slightly more to it than that. There is a certain unwritten rule that gifts are fine as long as they can be vaguely relatively to what/who the PR person is representing but sometimes they stretch these boundaries too far.
For example My father (who is editor of a mechanical engineering mag) went to Las Vegas for a conference the other week. All the journeys were put up in Caesers Hotel and there was quite obviously a lot of funding behind this conference. In a stroke of brilliance (or a very silly move) everyone attending was given a brand new iPod Nano - the tiny tiny ones - with all the information for the conference on them. Once the five days were over they were allowed to keep the Nano.
Now whether this was an excellent idea or not remains to be seen. Apparently those who did not loose them either already owned one or were unsure of what it was really for.
As for what Dad did with his? He informed me that he would not be bought with snazzy technology and that he had never taken it out of its box. He did keep it. To sell on eBay.