And the best ad placement award goes to Corporate Knights (and Barrick Gold)

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In the news business, we have this thing about separating editorial content from advertising. If a story is written about a company that advertises in the same issue of a given print publication, you make sure to run the article and the ad on different pages. You don't want to give the reader the impression that one paid for the other (even if it might be true in some cases).

So here's a textbook example of how not to place advertising in a newspaper or a magazine. It's from the latest issue of Corporate Knights, which (laughably) bills itself as "the magazine for clean capitalism".

On the top of the page, there's a list of "Canada's top 10 responsible mining companies". Lo and behold, Toronto-based Barrick Gold Corporation, the world's largest gold mining company, tops the ranking. (The people at MiningWatch Canada and behind ProtestBarrick.net might have something to say about that though.)

But what do we have here? The bottom-half of the page bears an ad for—wait for it—Barrick Gold!

Obviously, the magazine didn't let the company compile the ranking. But it would be understandable if readers came away, shall we say, skeptical.

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paul acement

Dec 4, 2012 at 7:41pm

shocking! and the Straight doesn't "sell" proximate ad space in one of their numerous "best of" issues to "winners" of representative categories?

pot kettle black call.

8 7 Rating: +1

Newsman

Dec 6, 2012 at 1:26pm

Last week's Georgia Straight: Page 50 - an almost full-page ad for a concert by The Killers. Facing page 51 - a full-page article about The Killers.

But then, maybe the Georgia Straight isn't in the "news business".

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