Press embargoes in the digital age: Westinghouse Digital

Very interesting email message I got this morning from a PR firm:

I wanted to see if you or any of your colleagues are planning any CES stories to break at the show? If so, we can provide you with information on the hot new products Westinghouse Digital will be unveiling at CES 2008.
We have an embargo document with a summary of selected key Westinghouse Digital products almost ready to send over to you. If you’re interested, can we just get you to type your name and publication in the agreement paragraph below and send it back to us?
The information that will be contained in the document is under embargo until Monday, January 7, 2008 (the first day of CES).
Westinghouse Digital CES 2008 Embargo Agreement:
“I (name and media outlet) agree that by receiving the Westinghouse Digital CES 2008 embargo document from HWH Public Relations, I will not publish any information included in the document (on/in any medium) until the agreed upon date of Monday, January 7, 2008. I also agree that this information is not for public usage and I will keep it confidential until Monday, January 7, 2008.

The real question, of course, is how many bloggers and online people will agree to this and then promptly violate it, either directly on their site or indirectly by forwarding the embargoed materials to a gossip site or similar. My take is that most of the tech and business news blogs and new media sites quite frankly flaunt that they don’t follow the rules set down by “the man”, and while a part of me wants to just say that you can’t control the message, get over it, another part understands that plenty of media outlets do have lead times and that agreeing on industry confidentiality is a necessary part of encompassing the entire media world, not just worrying about us shoot-from-the-hip online folks.
Those of you that are bloggers who get press materials, do you think that embargoes are obsolete and pointless? Do you respect them if companies contact you with information and ask you to keep mum until a specified date?

2 comments on “Press embargoes in the digital age: Westinghouse Digital

  1. Most will likely leak it, any document that you send out like that will definitely be subject to be shared, maybe that is the idea to add more to the urge to spill it before the date.

  2. For that kind of situation you are right, the question is will other bloggers agree to this and then promptly violate it? I think it will be a big news or a big change if they keep pushing it.

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