Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Question of the week (#3)

Does your magazine solicit ads based on the mentions of potential advertisers in articles?

When articles come in that mention advertisers or potential advertisers, some writers send these articles to sales reps. They then contact the advertisers to let them know a certain advertiser will be featured in an upcoming issue and solicit ads. They don't show them the content or give them too many details on the article. Is this ethical?



Portia Stewart said...

Our magazine doesn't use specific product names or advertisers, but we will give our salespeople a heads up of generic mentions of topic categories advertisers may be interested in. For example, we might mention veterinary pet insurance as an option to help pet owners pay for their pets' healthcare, but we won't name specific veterinary pet insurance providers.

Anonymous said...

We used to do that every once in a while back in the late 1990s in order to help boost sales (which it did in the short run) but, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. Once you let a sales person, or an advertiser, into your editorial cycle, you'll never get them out.


Anonymous said...

I write about innovations in food ingredients. Twice a month we focus in on one ingredient. Right now it's calcium. So our advertisers are telling the calcium suppliers to advertise in that issue because it's going to feature a story on calcium.

I can talk to whomever I want to for the calcium story. Many times, however, the companies doing the innovations are the companies that end up advertising. So to let our readers know what the news is, I need to talk to that company making the news, or announcing innovations. It's a delicate situation. I normally try to find an academic source, one not tied to any company, to give the story an objective source.

Spring Suptic said...

So, in the publications where advertisers are informed of the content as a lure to advertise, how do you handle ad placement?

Using the calcium article as an example, can an advertiser of a calcium product have its ad in the calcium article? Does it matter whether it the product or advertiser is mentioned in the article? Or, how far away from the calcium article must the ad be place?

We know the advertiser will be pushing to get as close to that article as possible, if not in it. Where should we, as editors, push back?

Jeff Gelski said...

The advertisers request to have the ad as close to the article as possible.

They do not have to appear in the article. A few times advertisers have been upset when they did not appear.