I think you hit it spot-on. This is probably common practice and kept quiet (probably also why some magazines don't mention scores in pre-release tests sometimes), what the marketing guys didn't know (lack of knowledge about the German market?) is that BILD will dismantle you and your unborn when you give them ANY kind of ammo. Trying to bribe/extort them like that was the dumbest thing possible, given their reviews they'd have given it a top score anyhow... but now they are going to feed on this. A scandal causes higher mag sales, after all.