Sapna Maheshwari of the New York Times writes about how a recent article on Entrepreneur magazine’s website carried an ad for a lending company that has a partnership with the magazine.
Maheshwari writes, “Last month, Entrepreneur Media introduced Entrepreneur Lending, which allows it to profit as it directs readers to short-term, high-rate loans from CAN Capital. It added taglines promoting the business at the start of a wide range of stories related to raising capital, which are either edited contributions from freelancers or produced by its own writers.
“Ryan Shea, head of Entrepreneur Media, assured readers in an Aug. 16 post announcing the partnership that its publications would continue to provide ‘unbiased insights about loans from other banks, crowdfunding, personal assets and more.’
“‘Covering the spectrum of accurate and relevant information is an important part of our mission to support the small-business community and integral to the integrity of our brand,’ wrote Mr. Shea, whose father was one of three men who took control of the company in 1987.
“Mark Vamos, a professor of business journalism at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, and a former editor of Fast Company magazine, said the potential for conflicts of interest was obvious. ‘How can you continue to be neutral when you’ve got skin in the game?’ he said.”
Read more here.