Editorial copy in The Atlantic magazine’s web site paid for by the Church of Scientology mimicked the magazine’s style and format closely and brought intense Twitter scorn to the copy, The Washington Post, Paul Farhi, January 15, 2013.
The Atlantic issued a statement of apology and regret for running an ad so close in format and style to its editorials, a statement that Jack Shafer, Reuters, January 15, 2013, found wanting. Shafer said by running the ad, the magazine failed not only themselves and the readers, but the Church of Scientology and The Atlantic’s regular advertisers.
Publications seeking additional ad content would be well served to consider their options carefully, “…it is easy to go astray, and the only way to avoid that kind of disaster is to keep your readers in mind: sponsored content has to be as useful as the kind you produce, if not more so, and it has to be aligned with your brand, or it will fail — sometimes spectacularly,” argues Mathew Ingram, paidContent, January 16, 2012. -db