OLD Media Moves

Retailer threatens to pull ads over upcoming story

February 6, 2006

This item was in the New York Post this morning: “Saks Fifth Avenue’s attempts to strong-arm New York magazine into killing a planned story about the retailer by threatening to pull future advertising have fallen flat.

“New York is planning to go ahead with the story, albeit without Saks’ cooperation, sources told The Post’s Suzanne Kapner. Saks currently isn’t a big advertiser with the magazine, but had considered running pages in future issues, a source said.

Saks Fifth Avenue Saks, which has been roiled by well-publicized troubles, may still be smarting from a recent New York story about the rash of pre-Christmas discounting that fea tured racks of Saks merchan dise at sharply reduced prices.

“‘New York magazine keeps a very strict separation of our editorial and publishing depart ments,’ said Serena Torrey, a New York spokeswoman. ‘We’re always disappointed to hear that any of our potential advertisers are uncomfortable with that separation.’ A rep for Saks didn’t return a call.”

I hope that no business journalist or publication ever succumbs to such a threat. It’s stuff like this that makes business reporting worthwhile. It’s obvious that the story has struck a nerve with a company that doesn’t want publicity.

Sadly, I have an entire file folder of similar incidents down through the years.

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