The hardtracking staff has long wondered whether we’re the only ones bothered by the growing number of media outlets pimping out their editorial staffs to advertisers.

But lo! Here comes the American Society of Magazine Editors to express its own concerns.

Via Erika Adams of Racked (tip o’ the pixel to the Missus):

Condé Nast May Not Be Eligible to Receive National Magazine Awards Anymore

WWD’s Alexandra Steigrad reports that the American Society of Magazine Editors is rethinking its guidelines on native advertising now that Condé Nast and other major publishing houses have publicly confirmed that editors will be writing ad content for their brands. As it stands, ASME’s rule on native advertising states: “Editorial contributors should not participate in the creation of advertising if their work would appear to be an endorsement by the magazine of the advertised product.” In light of recent developments, ASME CEO Sid Holt explained to WWD that the old rule is outdated and it’s being updated to reflect that “the primary role of the editor is to serve the reader.”

While the official new guidelines won’t be unveiled until May, anonymous sources told WWD that there is much debate over how ASME should address journalists who are now being directed to write ad copy, especially in the case of Condé Nast. “If it holds firm, then Condé pubs would not be eligible for National Magazine awards,” Steigrad explains.

WWD’s Steigrad also explains that ASME will probably not hold firm. “[One] source said, the new principles will be ‘up for interpretation.’”

Of course they will.

But, at least, it’s a start.


John R. Carroll, who also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town, is a media analyst and mass communication professor at Boston University.
John R. Carroll has 294 post(s) on Sneak Adtack