Big surprise: Yet another news organization has pimped out its editorial content to a paying customer.

From Advertising Age:


Business Insider Gives Advertiser Veto Power Over ‘Future of Business’ Edit Mix

To Start, Newsroom Stories in Sponsored Section Won’t Include Competitors of SAP

When Business Insider introduced a sponsored section last November called “The Future of Business,” it promised to give its take on the subject alongside stories about the underwriter, SAP.

“We’ll show you how technology — and the dynamic companies using it — are changing many facets of business as we know it, empowering our mobile lives, harnessing the power of big data, and creating a more sustainable future,” its announcement said.

The announcement did not mention that the “dynamic companies” in ‘The Future of Business” would not include SAP competitors, or that the selection of Business Insider articles running there would be subject to SAP approval.


(Sorry no link to The Future of Business. It has now crashed Safari three four times – the legal limit for linkitude.)

From our Cold Comfort desk:

The veto power granted SAP does not give it the right to tweak headlines or language in the story, [Business Insider president Julie] Hansen noted. “They can absolutely reject a piece of editorial content,” she said. “They just can’t tell us, ‘If you change the headline or change what you said we would accept it.’ It’s not that they’re sitting in our editorial meetings every week saying, ‘yes, no, yes no.'”

“If we felt like we were producing a poor editorial product, whatever they’re paying us wouldn’t be worth it,” she added. “We’ve rejected projects in the past because we didn’t feel like we could comfortably write about a topic.”


Well. We can all feel good about that, yeah?


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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