business news in context, analysis with attitude

First, a little context…

In the news and punditry business, there is something called an “embargoed press release.” What this means is that public relations agencies send out a press release that, for whatever reason, they say is “embargoed” until a certain date. Sometimes the embargo is set because certain news organizations have been promised a first-shot exclusive, sometimes because there are timing issues surrounding whatever is being announced.

It is incumbent on those of us who see those releases to respect that embargo, if for no other reason than these are the rules of the game, and I take them very seriously.

I broke the rules of the game yesterday. Inadvertently, but that doesn’t make it any better.

The story was about the launch of the Healthy Weight Foundation, which is being launched next Monday in Washington, DC. I reported on it yesterday, and also offered some thoughts about how the involved companies ought to approach such efforts, which can be viewed with cynicism in some quarters.

What I didn’t see when I read the announcement was that the folks who sent it – in this case, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) - had embargoed the release until next Monday. But it was there.

I screwed up. It was an accident, but I think it is incumbent on people in my business to admit it when we break the rules.

Part of the problem, of course, is that once one person breaks the embargo, all bets are off for all the other people who got the release.

Apologies to GMA and all the other participants in the launch next Monday. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I hope I haven’t somehow contributed to the bloom being off the rose.
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