There’s a common request I’ve been receiving, and it has me simultaneously annoyed, disappointed and scared for the future.
The question comes (via email) in one of two forms:
The initial request is usually followed up with something along the lines of “we do have a line between our editorial and advertising departments, but we also have to remember that we’re running a business too…”
Infuriatingly, these inquiries aren’t just coming from scam sites like The Leading Edge or Worldwide Business. I’ve been getting them from legit magazines, newspapers and websites, and even when I am working on something that’s purely editorial, it usually doesn’t take long for someone from the advertising side to reach out and ask if I’d be interested in purchasing an ad as well. I’ve even had publishers call me directly and tell me they keep editorial and advertising departments separate, but if I bought an ad, he’d “talk with the editor and make sure we got a story in there for you.” The worst scenario is when a reporter is interested in a story but is only willing to run it if you buy ad space, too.