Over the Bloomberg wire comes word that PR Newswire – that nifty little service that fires off one press release after another .. to our spam folder – is guilty of, egads!, distributing fake press releases. When third-party service eReleases sent PR Newswire a filing supposedly from call center and warehouse services operator Innotrac that boasted of a multi-million dollar contract, the release was promptly distributed, sending investors into a buying fury and hiking up Innotrac’s stock.
Except there was no contract. And Innotrac didn’t release anything.
The release, posted at 8:31 a.m. New York time, originated with Baltimore-based eReleases, a press release services company that works with PR Newswire, which is owned by London-based publisher United Business Media plc.
Atlanta-based Innotrac, which manages warehouses, shipping and customer service call-centers for retail and wholesale companies, distributed a release at 11:13 a.m. characterizing the original release as “totally false.”
All of which has caused us to lose all faith in the press release factory. If we can’t trust real publicists not to spin their client’s bullshit into pandering babble, however can we be expected to trust fake publicists?
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