The Atlantic has developed new guidelines for its use of sponsored content, after pulling and apologizing for a sponsored piece about Scientology
earlier this month.
The company issued a statement
at the time that read in part: "We now realize that as we explored new forms of digital advertising, we failed to update the policies that must govern the decisions we make along the way. It's safe to say that we are thinking a lot more about these policies after running this ad than we did beforehand."
The new policy
issued today outlines the general principles The Atlantic will adhere to when running content produced or paid for by a sponsor, with the overall goal that "The Atlantic must maintain its editorial integrity and the trust of its readers."
One key focus is on transparency:
The Atlantic will prominently display the following disclaimer on all Sponsor Content: ‘SPONSOR CONTENT.’ The Atlantic will additionally include the following disclaimer on all Sponsor Content: ‘This article is written by or on behalf of our Sponsor and not by The Atlantic’s editorial staff.’ The Atlantic may additionally include, in certain areas and platforms, further explanation defining Sponsor Content to Atlantic readers. In addition, The Atlantic will ensure the treatment and design of Advertising and Sponsor Content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content.