A friend of mine has been nominated for a rather prestigious award in his field and it seems that this year all contenders decided it would be a good idea to send "gifts" to the judges. The stakes are higher this year since the award has a research grand attached to it.
His wife had made extensive research on each judge and put together a list of personalized gifts (e.g. a watch for a judge that wrote on twitter that he lost his).
I am rather annoyed by this because he's being influenced heavily by his wife. I've known this guy for 20+ years. He is not the type that would do such a thing but he would really like this award since he did a really good job. He does indeed deserve it compared to his opponents. I know he's leaning towards giving a gift (I'd say 60% chance he does), so he hasn't made up his mind yet. But for him, it's the opportunity of a lifetime, so I think he's leaning towards bribing.
I would like to make an argument to my friend about not bribing the judges.
How could I actively approach him and make my case without hurting the friendship?
To add a bit more info. This is a friend that I always admired for his ethics. He's been influenced towards a possibly damaging decision and I would prefer to offer my opinion on the matter.
I am a stickler when it comes to my ethics, especially in a situations such as this. And I know that my friend is as well since we went to college together and known each other for ever. But as with a lot of people that are successful in their career, breaching the friendship wall into the career part can be tricky.