Hoax Releases Hit Newswire Services

Two major press release services, PR Newswire and Business Wire, both have been hit by fake press releases in the last week. A bogus notice regarding Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc. made its way into the Business Wire service Friday night but was retracted soon after. CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz announced that the incident had been referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which was treating the case as a criminal investigation.

In its own press release yesterday, Business Wire said it was changing its press release submission policy and would no longer accept material via email. All releases will have to be submitted through the online “BW Connect” order-entry system, which is audited for security. "Business Wire on rare occasions accepted emails as an accommodation to clients," Tamraz said in explaining the policy change. “Based on this weekend's events, we have put an immediate end to this practice,” Tamraz said in a statement. “Business Wire will only transmit releases that have been submitted via authorized users of BW Connect who file directly into Business Wire's editorial system using its secure, proprietary platform.”

The company claims to process 250,000 press releases annually and says hoaxes are “extremely rare.”

Last week, United Business Media’s PR Newswire published a phony release claiming that President Obama had ordered an investigation into General Mills’ supply chain. General Mills noted the release and notified PR Newswire of the error. PR Newswire issued a “kill” notice to journalists to disregard the original release since it came from an “unauthorized sender.”

For more about the magazine media, visit minonline.

Comments Off

Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' Social Media Summit

SMS web ad 180x150Join PR News at the Marriott Marquis in New York on Oct. 5 for the Social Media Summit, where expert communicators will share in-depth case studies from their social efforts. You'll be immersed in the strategies and tactics that you can apply right away.

Use code “150” at checkout to save $150 on the regular rate.

Get $50 off PR News' Crisis Management Guidebook


Crisis management is an art, not a science. In this edition of PR News’ Book of Crisis Management Strategies & Tactics, you will discover many different views on this art, and you are certain to find takeaways that will transform the way your organization handles crises. 

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.