The organisers of tonight’s Brit Awards for pop music appear to be asking journalists to guarantee coverage of sponsor MasterCard as the price of attending.
Before providing journalists with accreditation to attend the event House PR has asked journalists to agree to a number of requests about the coverage they will give it.
They have even gone as far as to draft Twitter messages which they would like journalists to send out – and asked that they include a mention of the marketing campaign #PricelessSurprise and @MasterCardUK.
Here’s the email that was sent to Telegraph Mandrake columnist Tim Walker:
Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. As you know we’ve been in touch re. accreditation for the BRIT’s but just wanted to check in with you directly to confirm that you are happy with the below.
Firstly as part of our Priceless Surprise we are putting on cars to take guests directly to the awards – we will be booking your car to take both yourself and Katy from the office at 4:30pm. Are you happy with these details?
In addition – in return for this ticket we would like to ask that you agree to the following…
Social media support from both publication and personal Twitter feed
Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises
Event night – live tweeting from the event including @MasterCardUK handle and #PricelessSurprises and to retweet @MasterCardUK tweets throughout the night where appropriate
Post event – tweet directing followers to @MasterCardUK BRITs YouTube videos
Pre-event coverage of MasterCard’s Priceless Surprise video edits with either Laura Mvula, Kylie Minogue and/or Pharrell Williams – to include full credit for MasterCardUK and #PriclessSurprises
All features to be pushed on publications social feeds – to include @MasterCardUK and #PricelessSurprises
MasterCard inclusion in post event write-up (print and online) including #PriclessSurprises hashtag and somethingforthefans.co.uk URL
Post event write up presence on publication homepage (where possible)
Inclusion of MasterCard branded event night images in post event piece
Post event - coverage support for MasterCard music activity in 2014 (Beyonce & JT)
The email concludes:
We are really looking forward for you to join us at the awards with us on Wednesday and if you could let us know you are happy with all the above that would be great
Please let us know if you have any further questions and look forward to hearing from you.
Tim Walker told Press Gazette: “If they are going down that route they should really take out an advertisement.
“Going to the extent of drafting you a pro-forma Twitter message shows the extent to which Twitter is being polluted by all this sort of stuff.
“A lot of people on Twitter aren’t all that up on journalistic ethics. The sad thing is that a lot of journalists now haven’t perhaps been up through local papers and may not realise that this sort of thing isn’t ethical.”
Press Gazette has asked House PR for a comment.
However, some journalists have already started using the agreed hashtag. Here are some of the best...
Check those out here.