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re Quattro Quaterly ethical conflict....

A "Concerned QCUSA member" complained about an ethical conflict of the
Quattro Quarterly publishing technical information written by someone (John
Beckius, from Sport Wheels in Colorado) with a potential financial interest
in having his readers accept his opinion.  The usual approach to integrity
in cases of this sort is for the editor to clearly reveal the writer's
affiliation, and, if the affiliation does not clearly reveal the financial
interest, then to further define it.

We all have a financial interest in our cars, at a minimum, and I for one am
interested in all technical opinions. even those from persons who have
something to gain from my acceptance of their opinions.  However, the reader
should never be given the perception that the writer is disinterested if he
isn't.  I recall reading the articles, and don't recall any caveats by the
editor, so if they were there they didn't stand out as well as they should
have.  The writer himself can avoid accusations of this type by his
phrasing; Uncle John could refer to his experience in selling such items to
his customers, for example, if that is his basis for product support.  

I would like to think, in spite of endless counter-examples, that a
successful business would not hype products that, by not meeting their
performance claims, would give the business bad publicity in the long run.
If the product meets its claims then it is ethical to promote it so long as
the writer's financial interest is made evident.  However, fairness dictates
that, when a product is promoted outside of an advertisement, by someone
with a financial interest, alternative products, if any, must also be

                .... Kirby   (Kirby A. Smith)
                              2 x 1988 90q
                          New Hampshire USA
		QCUSA No. 2740