This Week in PR Ethics (1/27/22): Front Groups, Misinformation and Historical Transgressions

Good morning. Sorry to my loyal readers for the unexpected sabbatical, but I am back and ready to bring you more ethics goodness and insight in 2022, along with a few surprises.

Following are a few interesting ethics articles I read this month that are worth a read. More next week!


  • Front groups and disclosure – The Daily Beast reported how British American Tobacco has been a secret backer of an anti-smoking vape group. This is a great example of why ethically, you always need to disclose sponsorships and participation. Industry associations and advocacy orgs are fine, as long as we know who is in them.


  • Who is responsible for countering misinformation? – reported on an open letter from more than 80 fact-check groups calling on YouTube to do more to counter conspiracy theories and misinformation spread on its platform. With the rise of disinformation and misinformation – communication pros are going to be spending more time countering this than ever


  • How companies can address their historical transgressions – HBR is consistently one of the best resources for thought provoking ethics articles and this one does not disappoint. It looks at how many companies have failed in this area and provides best practice advice for addressing this directly,
Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Mark W. McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the general manager of C+C's Boston office. C+C is a communications agency all about the good and purpose-driven brands. He has more than 20 years of tech and fintech agency experience, served as the 2016 National Chair of PRSA, drove the creation of the PRSA Ethics App and is the host of


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