PR, as in Profit and Propaganda

"The Armstrong Williams scandal is an example of the close coordination between the advertiser and the commentator ... that violates disclosure and conflicts-of-interest principles," the Center for Media and Democracy's Sheldon Rampton told the New York Times' Timothy O'Brien. O'Brien's article gives a historical overview of the PR industry, including many firms' consolidation into marketing and communications companies. "Critics say firms like Ketchum that operate inside conglomerates are pushing harder to fatten the bottom line - which may lead them to cross ethical boundaries." PR firms' work on political issues also raises questions, since "one man's propaganda is another man's truth," said the chief executive of Manning, Selvage & Lee.