A new paper by public relations firm Edelman takes on the ethical issues of paid content in an attempt to start a discussion about developing guidelines for this type of content
Chief content strategist Steve Rubel interviewed 30 media companies for the report, released Tuesday, to develop what it calls “an ethical framework” for promoting paid content.
Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici summarizes that framework a list of “ideals” that should get the industry talking. Those ideals include disclosure, an opportunity for feedback, and a “non-porous organizational divide between those who produce and place sponsored content and those who work directly with journalists.”
Rubel told PRWeek’s Sarah Shearman that many companies use their own guidelines when creating paid content, and there is no industry-wide standard.
As Bercovici suggests, The Atlantic’s sponsored content post about Scientology is an example of the need for standards and guidelines. The magazine pulled the paid content less than 12 hours after it appeared and apologized to readers.