Writers for significant online publications like Forbes, Huffpost, Mashable, Inc, Business Insider, and Entrepreneur, are accepting bribes for favorable mentions and links. This is the thrust of a story in The Outline that details how agencies “blur traditional lines between advertising and public relations, quietly pay off journalists to promote their clients …”
Of course, the publications in question assert that they absolutely forbid such practices. But like Google and Facebook’s “zero tolerance” policy for hate-filled, racist, violent, or fake content, the “policy” is more PR bullshit than anything real.
According to The Outline “…a contributor to Fast Company and other outlets…described how he had inserted references to a well-known startup…on behalf of a marketing agency he declined to name.“
“An unpaid contributor to the Huffington Post …said that he has included sponsored references to brands in his articles for years…the writer also described specific brands he’d written about on behalf of one of the agencies, which ranged from a popular ride-hailing app, to a publicly-traded site for booking flights and hotels, to a large American cell phone service provider...’This is a classic example of payola,’ he said”.
Editors note: There is more truth to this story than you might believe. We have witnessed it first hand.