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June 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Huffington Post pulls blog item tied to City Light paid PR effort

Huffington Post has removed a blog post connected with a Seattle City Light image-buffing campaign, citing an undisclosed conflict of interest by the blogger.

The move follows a Seattle Times report on Sunday that revealed City Light had hired Brand.com to suppress negative Google search results about the utility and CEO Jorge Carrasco. Under the contract, Brand.com ginned up positive stories about the public utility, in part, by paying for positive blog posts on popular web sites.

One of those pieces, by a blogger named Damon Banks, appeared on Huffington Post with no disclosure of its connection to the PR campaign.

Today, a Huffington Post spokeswoman emailed to say the blog post has been removed and replaced with a notice saying the item “failed to disclose a material conflict of interest.”

The spokeswoman, Lena Auerbuch, said Banks never responded to inquiries about his blog post.

Comments | More in Local government | Topics: Brand.com, Huffington Post, Jorge Carrasco

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