Several events have sparked a debate about whether an ethical threshold has been crossed: the decision by Marqui, a company in Vancouver, to pay bloggers to mention the company; Newsweek
‘srevelation that a group of 100 technologists in Silicon Valley accepts free products and services in return for word-of-mouth endorsements (or not); and the news that BzzAgent, a 3-year-old Boston company, has enlisted thousands of volunteers to generate buzz for clients? products, sometimes in ethically questionable ways.
The ground is shifting so rapidly that the Word of Mouth Marketing Association last week released a draft Code of Ethics to help define the rules of the road. (The group invites the public to participate in the process.) —J.D. Lasica —The cost of ethics: Influence peddling in the blogosphere (Online Journalism Review)