One of the many distinctions between paid advertising andeditorial content in any reputable publication is that advertisingspace is for sale while editorial space is never sold. It's justnot done! Yet, some publications ignore the importance of keepingpaid ads completely separate and distinct from the editorialproduct that must be based solely on objective and unbiased newsjudgment. There actually are publications that see no problem inoffering vendors extensive editorial coverage in exchange for themrunning a certain amount of paid advertising in the same issue,often on facing pages. Although these publications do their best tomake any such articles appear to be legitimate news coverage, theyseem to overlook the fact that readers are not stupid. One bankingpublication, for example, produced a high-quality insert builtaround a “visionaries in banking” theme. A reader might expect tosee articles by industry leaders espousing their thoughts on wherethe banking industry is headed. The articles in fact were thinlydisguised promos for the publication's advertisers. If that werenot obvious enough on face value, across from each article, usuallyby-lined by a vendor CEO, was a full-page ad hawking the wares ofthat same vendor headed up by that CEO. What kind of credibilitydoes any publication have that will trade editorial space fordollars rather than base its editorial product solely on newsjudgment? None! Readers of Credit Union Times, where objectivityrules, will never find paid editorial content in this publication.Nor will they ever see a paid ad across from a legitimate newsmention or story that features the vendor that placed thatadvertisement. [email protected]

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