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Deception, by nature, is often hard to spot. And hard to define. After all, in many cases deception itself can be a matter of opinion, and on top of that there are matters of degree.
The recent blog- and forum-driven storm over wine-writing ethics has focused on factors that can be very hard to get a grip on, namely the possibility that wine critics’ assessments of individual wines (and/or entire portfolios) can or have been impacted by unseen/unspoken perks (trips, dinners, insider access, etc.).
That firestorm, along with a more general publishing issue—the ethics of advertising being integrated into actual magazine covers (story here)—got me thinking that now is a good time to visit the question of: When is a label reproduction that appears in a wine magazine actually a paid promotion rather than an editorial graphic? Read the rest of this entry »