Will the ‘Hits’ Still Come if we Stop Paying?

How much does it cost for a trade publication called ‘Hits’ to say nice things about you? Andy Gershon, president of V2 records, found out recently, as published in the LA Times.
“In Hits’ case, a review of its website showed that changes in coverage coincided with decisions by Gershon and another company to stop or vastly reduce payments for advertisements and promotional services.

In March 2003, when Gershon’s V2 released the first White Stripes album, Hits’ website praised the label by saying it “will take a ‘Seven Nation Army’ to hold V2 Records back from breaking cult band White Stripes wide-open this time around.” Back then, Gershon said, his company had paid Hits about $50,000 for ads and services.

Two years later, after Gershon had stopped paying the publication, Hits published the criticism that drew his ire and prompted his e-mail.

In another case, when Lyor Cohen became chairman of Warner Music Group in 2004, his company was paying Hits more than $2 million a year for advertisements and promotional services. The publication called his appointment a “blockbuster” deal and quoted Warner’s chief executive as saying that Cohen was “one of the most respected executives in the business.”

Within months, Warner significantly decreased its spending with Hits. Last month, the publication’s website described Cohen as “overly aggressive” and “untrustworthy,” mentioned his “inability to turn things around” and compared “the staggering list of bridges he’s burned to the Russian retreat in World War II.”