God, this business is getting depressing.
Just as I hear a piece of good news, someone sends me a piece of bad news.
First, the good news.
It appears that Ziff Davis has wised up and removed the ads from within editorial text. Regular readers of this blog know that I've been arguing for this for a week now. A few days ago, the American Society of Business Publication Editors issued a clarification of its ethics policy so that even the folks at Ziff had to accept that the practice violated ASBPE ethics guidelines. And now it looks as if Ziff has retreated. I no longer see the ads on Ziff Davis' sites.
But as good as this new is, I'm cautious. Ziff hasn't issued a statement. And longtime readers of this blog know that we've been down this road before with Ziff.
Now, the bad news.
Just as Ziff Davis seems to have accepted the rules of decent behavior, someone else has decided to violate them.
CMP's InformationWeek is now running the same ads-within-edit links from IntelliTXT that Ziff Davis did. You can see examples here and here.
As pointless as it sometimes feels to do, I will now quote from ASBPE -- "ad links within editorial text should NOT be sold under any condition." And while I'm at it, I'll also quote from American Business Media's ethics guidelines -- "Links within editorial should never be paid for by advertisers."
Now that seems crystal clear to me. But I'm quite sure that someone from CMP will send me an email full of convoluted logic and muddled thinking to explain why selling links in editorial doesn't actually violate the guidelines.
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, newsletters, business media, journalism ethics, advertising