In all, 76 per cent of those contacted said there should be some sort of code of conduct that the PR industry followed. The main bugbears were the sending of large picture files; untargeted e-mails that were often of no interest, and that there was no standard procedure for handling attachments.
Lindsay Mason, managing director of Cheltenham-based LMPR, the agency that commissioned the survey, said: 'This is a huge irritation, more than 50 per cent said they felt very strongly about it. In the US, which I think was where we are now five years ago, journalists just started not responding to e-mail completely.'
Other findings included the fact that 20 per cent of journalists had seen a 100 per cent increase in the amount of e-mails they received over the last 12 months, and that the number received daily now stand at 30 to 40, or 150 to 200 on a national.