BuzzFeed removed articles after advertiser complaints
BuzzFeed on Saturday disclosed that it had found three instances when complaints from business-side employees who worked with advertisers resulted in the deletion of articles, reports Steven Perlberg of The Wall Street Journal.
Perlberg writes, “The three advertiser-related deletions, which involved Unilever-owned Axe, Microsoft and Pepsi, were ‘pulled after an editor fielded a complaint from a business-side BuzzFeed staff member who worked with a brand mentioned in the piece,’ Mr. Smith wrote.
“The internal review came after BuzzFeed acknowledged it had deleted two other posts critical of brands that have advertised on the site, one about Hasbro’s Monopoly and another about Dove soap, which is owned by Unilever.
“After Gawker reported on those disappearances, Mr. Smith reinstated the posts, but he maintained that their deletion was due to editorial considerations – that they revealed an undue amount of the writer’s personal opinion — and not advertiser pressure.
“In the memo, Mr. Smith said in one instance an ad agency had complained about a 2013 critique of an Axe body spray ad by then-employee Mark Duffy, who blogs as ‘Copyranter.'”
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