Erin Andrews Reebok

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According to MarketWatch.com (2011), “...studies show that people are more likely to purchase an item if it has come into contact with an attractive person.” This finding coupled with the already controversial topic of whether a journalist should endorse a commercial product for a stipend, raises some interesting concerns. Furthermore, does accepting these endorsements pose a threat to journalism and its ethics and constitute a conflict of interest [as to whether any journalist should endorse a commercial product]? Case in point, Reebok’s hiring of Erin Andrews, ESPN reporter and voted Playboy magazine’s sexiest reporter, to endorse a new line of shoes “Zoom Alpha Talon Cleat” has done just that. Those on the sidelines-as well as those who rival the endorsed product- can attest to this struggle. Is it acceptable for sports reporters, like Erin Andrews, to accept endorsement deals…show more content…
According to the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics Code (2016), Andrews “has the duty to report independently - to distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two; she also is obliged to seek truth and report it – to identify sources clearly.” (p.94) Consequently, the public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources. However, it wasn’t until two weeks after making the comments about Nike shoes that the Oregonian published an article stating Andrews was serving as a spokeswoman for Reebok’s new line ZigTech. Likewise, Poynter Institute (2016) states, “Journalists can review products. But they can’t take money from a company to endorse them. That totally ruins their credibility.” (“Entertaining Endorsements in Sports Journalism,” 2016) Based on this standard of ethics, it is wrong for Andrews to blend news with advertising without disclosing this information to her viewers– a situation that could harm Andrews and ESPN

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