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Actual email exchange about free trip for “positive coverage”

Actual exchanges from a series of emails:

[Travel company]:

…I’d be happy to offer you a trip, FOC if you managed to guarantee 4 pax on the same departure (or if you write a positive article on our trips). You can document the trip, travel for free and promote your work as well as [redacted] trips at the same time. Sounds like a no brainer!….


Thanks for the clarification.
Journalistically speaking, it’s unethical for a writer to guarantee a positive review of an experience that he or she hasn’t yet had; it’s akin to a food writer or movie reviewer promising to praise a meal or a movie they haven’t yet had. I’m uncomfortable, then, with the notion of a promise as the condition of an agreement….
[Travel company]:
…We’ll most likely run some invite only trips to [country A], [country B], [country C] and [country D] in the coming months. If you’re comfortable with being on such trips, then I can offer you any trip, FOC. I’m fully aware of the size of Matador’s readership and the quality of your writing….

I look forward to hearing from you.


4 responses »

  1. Thanks for the sharing this conversation with us.

  2. Wow I’ve never heard of such a blatant request in writing, it’s shameful.

  3. “I’m fully aware….” That line really rubs me the wrong way. Like he/she was saying “Read through the lines like I am; I know how a positive review from someone like you could help me, don’t you see I’m helping you too?” Condescending almost.


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