JetSmarter tries to extort journalists for positive coverage
JetSmarter, a company billed as Uber for private jets, has been sending an agreement to business journalists in an attempt to get them to cover the company uncritically, reports T.C. Sottek of The Verge.
Sottek writes, “We’ve seen plenty of aggressive requests from companies that want positive coverage, but perhaps none as absurd as what we just got from JetSmarter — a startup that’s been called the ‘Uber for private jets.’ In exchange for a demonstration of the service (a round-trip flight in the US), JetSmarter sent us an agreement that demands an uncritical puff piece.
“The rub? JetSmarter wanted the credit card number of a Verge reporter, so that it could charge him $2,000 if he didn’t publish a positive story ‘within 5 business days.’
Upon the execution of this Agreement, Journalist shall provide Company with a credit card and a copy of an ID of the credit card holder (“Credit Card”) and shall authorize Company to charge the Credit Card in the amount of $2,000 should (i) Journalist cancel the trip on the date of departure of the outbound flight or in the event that Journalist fails to arrive at the departure location at the scheduled departure time or other unforeseen delays or (ii) in the event Journalist fails to post the article described above on the first page of this agreement.
“JetSmarter defines that article as ‘a full-feature article on flight and positive experience with JetSmarter, highlighting the concept and services.’ In other words: write something nice, and fast, or you’ll pay!”
Read more here.