Is Getting Access To Competitors' Presentations Claiming To Be An Indy Blogger Corp. Espionage?
from the blurring-lines dept
One of the things that many conferences are struggling with these days is the question of how do you handle “press passes” for events. In the past, it was easy: there was press… and there was everyone else. But these days, when anyone can become a publisher of their own blog or other site, where do you draw the line? I know I’ve had discussions with conference organizers who fret over the issue, and generally decide on a rather ad hoc basis. But Glurbie alerts us to a story that takes the issue to an entirely different level. If you’re a blogger… and you get a “press pass” to an industry (or competitor’s) event as a blogger, rather than as an employee of your company, at what point is there an ethical lapse?
In this story, a spokesperson for Boeing, who also writes for a defense contractor blog, went to an industry event under a press pass for the blog, rather than being listed as a Boeing employee — and then sat in on various presentations by competitors. That second link notes that this probably falls short of real corporate espionage (which the original link above raises), but does certainly raise some ethical questions. There is a suggestion that most people in the room probably already knew the guy worked for Boeing, but it still seems odd not to admit that fact.
While there’s some effort to pose this story as a question about “blogging” (and Boeing is apparently reviewing its blogging efforts and thinking of shutting down the guy’s blog), I’m really not sure it’s a “blogging” issue at all. The real issue is one of disclosure. The guy didn’t disclose who he worked for when that could have been rather relevant.