Is the embargo dead? Well this one is!

Laterooms promotional pic: Couple in bed in London DungeonThere was much chatter about the role of the media embargo in a faster moving Web 2.0 world at the start of the year.

It started with the Techcrunch announcement that they would no longer honour embargoes, and occupied 'the conversation' for a while (here are a couple of blogs on the subject: Shel Holz, In Media ). The general view seemed to be that embargoes are a relic from the age of print, but they might have a role if used properly.

I've never knowingly broken an embargo. But I'm about to.

At 09.58 this morning Mischief PR sent out a press release with jpegs for their client, It's a story about creating a single night room in the London Dungeon. In the first line of the first para it has a clear embargo in bold type: Embargoed until 00.01 on Wednesday, 24th June 2009

Later this morning the Mail Online and Guardian Travel published the story, and later Times Online Twitpic-ed it.

It's no big deal (in fact, in the scheme of things it's a very samll deal), but I was a little irritated because I had been sitting on it. I set up a query on my Twitter moniter to see if there were any others breaking the story... and found it on Laterooms' own site.

No doubt that's why the Mail, Guardian & Times ignored the embargo... and why I'm about to. (Let me know, guys, if I guessed right!)

Question for Mischief PR: Why, in a boy-who-cried-wolf way, should we pay attention to any future embargoes you may seek?

Question for other PRs and the rest of you: Are embargoes irrelevant in an online world where lead times can be counted in minutes & seconds and media outlets in tens of thousands?


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