Automotive journalism is riddled with pitfalls for corruptible folk, something automakers know all too well. Apart from the usual moral gray areas sponsored press junkets, sometimes questions of integrity are just black and white.
In a recent piece of investigative journalism, Gawker car site Jalopnik (itself not immune to morally gray journalism) exposed how marketing firm eBuzzing attempted to pay for editorial content on the new Honda Civic. No, not our much-maligned Civic, but the Euro-Spec model (above). The assumption (one that isn’t hard to connect the dots for) is that Honda is indirectly paying for good PR about its cars through this third party company.
While Jalopnik did not take part in the pay-for-PR scam, once the positive-spin content was provided, it wasn’t hard to hunt down other sites, such as Parent Wheels, which had.
When contacted, American Honda Motor Co., said it could not speak for its European counterparts but did say it has no dealings with eBuzzing.