Shades of Grey – The story of Mitch Mosallem and Grey Global Group – Brandweek

December 16, 2016

Download “Shades of Grey” here

I am now a deputy editor at Business Insider

April 16, 2013

jim-edwardsAnd I will remain in my position, according to the New York Times (see second to last graf).

Julie Roehm’s allegations of ethics conflicts at Walmart

May 3, 2012

Download the document here.

This document relates to this story on Business Insider.

Business Insider’s New Advertising Channel Has Launched

December 9, 2011

You can see it here.

Download BidMyCrib v. Groupon Here

December 7, 2011

Download a copy of the complaint in BidMyCrib v. Groupon here.

Download a copy of the the dismissal notice here.

This document relates to this story on Business Insider.

I Am Now a Senior Editor at Business Insider

November 16, 2011

I’ve been hired to cover advertising. You can read all my stuff here.

Placebo Effect, R.I.P.

October 10, 2011

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that Placebo Effect, my blog about pharmaceutical news, has not been updated recently. CBS Interactive, BNET’s parent company, has decided to discontinue my coverage of the drug industry and instead increase my coverage of the advertising business on The Tagline.

It’s a shame for me personally because Placebo Effect had a monthly readership in the hundreds of thousands, and I broke some important stories in that venue.

I’m a realist, however. If advertisers don’t want to buy ads next to health/drug news, then CBS cannot continue to provide that kind of information. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

I’ve been writing about the drug industry on and off since 2004. Doubtless, at some point in the future, I will once again patrol the pharma beat. But for now, absent a sudden sponsorship of the blog, I’m taking a break.

I’d like to thank all those of you who read the column on a regular basis. I know there were many of you. I read all your emails, and all your comments, and as many tweets as I can. I will miss our correspondence.


Jim Edwards

Download Spetter v. Abbott here

June 5, 2011

Depakote complaint part 1.

Depakote complaint part 2.

Depakote complaint part 3.

Depakote complaint part 4.

These documents relate to this story on BNET.

All My BNET Stuff in One Place

May 3, 2011

If you want to read all my pharmaceutical reporting and all my advertising reporting in a single place, then bookmark this URL or add its RSS feed:;content

FC Barcelona Sponsor Linked to Cleric Who Called for “Death of All Jews”

December 17, 2010

Surely Barcelona can do better than the Qatar Foundation as a shirt sponsor?

Notes About Grey Group’s Secret Billing Documents

November 9, 2010

This article about Grey Group‘s internal billing documents may not seem like much, but it was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever reported. I first heard about the documents in 2004 and have been working, on and off, to get hold of them ever since.

Grey successfully persuaded New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan to seal the documents in 2006. Unfortunately for Grey, court access for journalists is kind of my “thing.” I knew the ruling was wrong on the law.  It took me four more years to get them unsealed.

This is an extreme example, but it’s an example nonetheless, of how difficult it can be to write stories about the advertising business that don’t show the industry in a flattering light.

I’d like to thank a few people who made this story possible. First, David Schulz of Levin Sullivan Koch & Schulz in New York, who agreed to refer the case to the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Practicum. Schulz also argued the case before the New York State Appellate Division.

Second, Patrick Kabat and Nabiha Syed who researched and wrote the successful appellate brief. They graduated Yale Law this year.

All of these lawyers represented me pro bono. If you are a large media corporation with a court access issues and an unspent budget for outside legal counsel, these are the lawyers to call.

Here is a Harper’s Index-style list of trivia about how this story came to be published:

  • 23: Number of different drafts of this story requested by various editors and lawyers at other publications that were never published.
  • 1: Number of drafts requested by editors at BNET.
  • 6: Number of years since I first received a tip that the documents existed
  • 4: Number of years since the documents were first filed in court.
  • 3: Number of business magazines that passed on the story.
  • 2: Number of daily newspapers who passed on the story.
  • 3: Number of lawyers who told me the story could not be published without a court ruling releasing them to me.
  • 0: Percentage of those lawyers who offered to petition the court to get them.
  • 3: Number of legal briefs I wrote myself that were unsuccessful in persuading New York State Supreme Court to release the documents.
  • 1: Grade out of 10 that I would give the New York State Supreme Court’s pro se services office on a scale measuring “helpfulness.”
  • 19: Number of months it took a state court judge to decide not to release the documents.
  • 5: Number of months it took the appeals court to overrule the original state court ruling.
  • 4: Number of Grey executives or their lawyers who implied or explicitly stated, on and off the record, that I would be sued for publishing this story.
  • 5: Number of appeals court judges who agreed unanimously, on all counts, that I was right and Grey was wrong.
  • Too many: Number of my friends or family who should have known better than to suggest, however well-intentioned they were, that maybe I ought to just drop it.

J&J’s Marketing of Ortho Evra, the Birth Control Patch

September 23, 2010

This document relates to this web page.

BNET Gets a Facelift

August 21, 2010

BNET has been redesigned. It’s the third revamp the site has received, to my knowledge. The new look is cleaner and, for new readers, easier to navigate.

For previous readers, however, some things have shuffled around. All my pharmaceutical stuff is here and all my advertising stuff is here. Please update your links, bookmarks and RSS feeds! You’ll notice that BNET Pharma and BNET Advertising have been given trendy new names, “Placebo Effect” and “The Tagline,” respectively. (I argued for “The Pill Popper” for the drug blog, but management didn’t like that one.)

One slight difference is that in the new redesign we’ve temporarily lost access to our automatic comment notification feeds. This means I might be slow or absent in responding to comments that require a response for the next few weeks. So if you spot something that’s flat wrong, email me directly at jim edwards 123 @ hotmail dot com.

Aside from that, not much has changed. I’m still focusing on the biggest, most controversial stories of the day, and trying to draw some management advice out of them. I’d love to get your feedback.

Pfizer’s Neurontin Documents

April 16, 2010

Download a copy of Pfizer’s internal documents.

This document relates to this story about Pfizer and Neurontin on BNET.

The DOJ’s Kickback Complaint Against J&J

January 19, 2010

Download the DOJ’s complaint against J&J here.

This document relates to this story on BNET Pharma.

AstraZeneca’s Seroquel Sales Rep Call Notes

September 23, 2009

Download examples of AstraZeneca’s Seroquel sales rep notes here:




These files relate to this story on BNET.

BNET’s New Redesign. Trendy But Functional. (I’m Paid to Say That.)

September 2, 2009

bnet_logoBNET Industries has undergone a redesign. It looks better and, more importantly, traffic is up. Most things are in the same place they always were, so you can still read my stuff about the pharmaceutical industry here, and my stuff about the advertising business here.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of things that readers might want to note in order to get the most out of the site. First, if you want to see more than five of my “Analysis” posts at a time, click on the black box where it says “more posts.” A longer ladder of headlines will unscroll automatically.

Second, if you want to click backward through everything I’ve written chronologically, then try this URL for BNET Pharma and this one for BNET Advertising. This will give you a more traditional “blog”-style experience.

I’d love to hear your feedback.

You’ll also notice that fewer BNET posts of mine link back to this blog for extra resources such as documentary source material. That’s because the new BNET edit interface made it easier for me to upload documents directly into

Lastly, access to BNET’s feedback tools got stricter. Now, you have to register with the site before voting for stories or commenting on them. This has had the immediate effect of making it look like fewer people are checking BNET stories as “favorites” and fewer people are commenting. BNET has done this for business reasons; registered readers are more important to advertisers (and BNET’s editorial staff) than random anonymous readers.

From your point of view, this means that if you take the trouble to register and vote or comment, your contribution is taken much more seriously than it is elsewhere where any anonymous person can say whatever nonsense they wish. Those of you who have commented on my items or sent me emails know that I almost always respond when warranted, even to critics.

Thanks for reading. We study the stats every day — and thank you for showing up.

Billy Mays’ Autopsy Report

August 10, 2009

Download the medical examiner’s statement here.

Download Billy Mays’ autopsy report here.

Download the toxicology report here.

These documents relate to this story on BNET.

Elan v. Biogen Complaint

August 7, 2009

Download Elan’s complaint against Biogen here.

This document relates to this story on BNET.

Documents in Colgate v. Chattem

August 4, 2009

Download the complaint in Colgate v. Chattem here.

This document relates to this story on BNET.