Cincy biz reporter and a local company
One of the rules of business journalism for companies should be: “Be careful what you ask for, you might get the opposite.”
Cincinnati Enquirer senior business reporter James McNair was the target of a full-page ad in the Enquirer on Monday, Sept. 11 from Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, the company that manufacturers the erection-enlargement pill, Enzyte (of Smiling Bob TV spot fame), and other herbal supplements.
The owner of the company, Steve Warshak, wrote in the letter that he would “very much appreciate it” if McNair “would please include our positive achievements in future articles. Through very constant improvement and dedication to our customers, we believe that we have earned the right to positive news coverage.”
In addition, hundreds of employees also signed the letter. Warshak was apparently unhappy with McNair’s coverage of the company. In March, the company announced a deal with six state attorneys general in which it paid $2.5 million in refunds.
In an e-mail McNair told me that the company also sent two boxes of products by courier for the newspaper staff to try. “We sent them back,” he said. Warshak’s letter stated, “What better way than to try them for yourself and report the results? This could be an interesting, ongoing story that would engage your readers over time.” So to speak.
So, do you think McNair wrote a “positive” article on the company the next time news warranted a story? Not exactly.
His first story, which ran last Thursday, after the ad ran was about Warshak being indicted on 106 criminal counts by a federal grand jury in Cincinnati. You can read this story here.
Just so you don’t think McNair has only written negative stories about Warshak and his company, I found this positive piece from February 2004.
The arraignment is Thursday.