By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A new and disturbing wrinkle to Philip Morris’ ads in The Boston Globe

Update (April 4): The Boston Globe has issued a statement responding to the CommonWealth article. CommonWealth editor Bruce Mohl has issued a counter-response. Read them both here.

Colman M. Herman has a scorcher for CommonWealth Magazine: “Scientists object to inclusion in Globe’s Philip Morris ads.” It seems that a number of scientists were interviewed for what turned out to be sponsored content — that is, paid advertising — without their knowing that’s what they were doing. Herman writes:

The Boston Globe is facing a growing chorus of criticism from public health advocates and media critics for working with Philip Morris to create and publish stories featuring interviews with prominent scientists, many of whom say they were never told the true purpose of the interviews — for inclusion in Philip Morris ads.

Herman writes that Globe executives declined his repeated efforts to obtain comment. This is just a mess. Herman interviewed me; and, as I wrote last June, neither the Globe nor any other media organization ought to publish ads from tobacco companies, especially all these years after they stopped accepting cigarette ads.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree with you about tobacco companies — and I also question the use of sponsored content, which has specific problems both online and offline

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