John Battelle, director of the business reporting program at Cal-Berkeley, notes on his blog that SBC, which is now AT&T, has dropped advertising in the San Francisco Chronicle because the telecommmunications company is upset with biz columnist David Lazarus.
Battelle, one of the co-founders of Wires magazine, writes, “Sure, a company has the right to spend its ad dollars wherever it wants to. But SBC not supporting the home town paper, because it doesn’t like the fact that that paper’s columnist writes negative (but from what I can tell, pretty accurate) pieces? That just seems, well, misguided. After all, negative press is still press, and it’s an opportunity to respond, to learn, to grow, to do better. Even if you disagree with the press, at least take the time to engage in a conversation.
“So I called AT&T/SBC to get a response and ask if what my sources charge is true. But I only got this: ‘Our marketing strategy and media buying plans are proprietary.'”
Read Battelle’s full post on Searchblog here.