Last Call: Anything at all for a plug. Anything

How far will a PR person go to get a squib in the Washington Post?

Pretty far, it seems.

In October 15's Sunday magazine, Planet Washington, columnist Gene Weingarten retrieved a bunch of tossed-out news releases from the Post newsroom's 'circular files' and contacted the senders with a truly Faustian proposal: 'Tell me something really humiliating about yourself and I will write glowingly about your client.'

Of the 15 he contacted, nine bit the poisoned apple, including one who actually invented an indiscretion.

The confessions? How about unintentional mooning (two cases)? Gluing prospective inlaws to freshly varnished chair seats? Spilling your briefcase in front of a major client and having it reveal 'adult' materials? Being dumped by your spouse for someone no better looking and definitely declasse?

Weingarten held up his end of the evil pact: the clients plugged varied from home decorative accessories to high end loudspeakers to internet catalogues.

But the dirty guy also printed the names of the flacks. We, on the other hand will protect the not-so-innocent.





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