MasterCard distances itself from Brits PR row

MasterCard has moved to distance itself from the PR agency handling its sponsorship of tonight’s (19 April) Brit Awards after reports the agency asked journalists to promote the payment brand as a condition of their attending. 

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MasterCard says it is “inappropriate” to imply accreditation is subject to endorsement after PR agency is accused of doing just that.

According to a report on Press Gazette, House PR asked two Telegraph journalists to agree to several conditions before providing accreditation for the music industry awards show.

An email sent to one of the Telegraph reporters, printed by Press Gazette, requested “in return for this ticket” reporters tweet directing followers to MasterCard’s Brits YouTube page and post event coverage for “MasterCard music activity in 2014” among other requests.

Suggested tweets were also drafted including: “Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises”.

In a statement, MasterCard says: “We have become aware of this situation and have been clear with our agency and attending media. Attendance at the Brits is not, nor has it ever been, a condition of coverage or endorsement. To imply such is highly inappropriate.”

MasterCard has today paid for a promoted trend – #pricelesssurprises – but this was hijacked with negative tweets in response to the story about its PR agency. 

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