Paid articles promoting stock published on Yahoo Finance, Insider
Yahoo Finance, Yahoo and Insider published articles from Benzinga that had been paid for by companies to promote their stocks, reports Caleb Pershan of Columbia Journalism Review.
Pershan writes, “This Alfi story was one of more than a hundred paid promotional articles originally published by Benzinga, then syndicated to better-known financial news websites like Yahoo!, Yahoo! Finance, and Markets Insider (from the website Insider) to appear without disclosures over the past six months, according to a review by CJR. It’s not clear how many readers saw them, but, in the company’s marketing materials, Benzinga says it has received 150 million monthly impressions through its syndication partnerships.
“Representatives for Benzinga and Insider said the lack of disclosures on syndicated content was unintentional, the mistake of an algorithm. Jacobi, the Benzinga director of operations, said that Alfi’s shares had spiked in part because the company itself had bought back shares. Andy Serwer, editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Finance, said that its ‘contracts with content partners don’t allow sponsored content. Unfortunately this must have slipped into the partner’s feed.’ When CJR pointed out this was not an isolated example Serwer did not reply further.”
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