The Financial Times is investigating allegations that its advertisers paid for editorial articles in its specialist magazine division.
An FT spokesman told the Guardian that the company took the allegations ‘very seriously’but had yet to see any evidence and could only conclude at this stage that the allegations were based on ‘unsubstantiated complaints”.
The NUJ chapel at the FT stated – in a letter seen by Media Guardian – ‘It has come to our attention that reporters, many of them members of the National Union of Journalists, are often asked to write ‘advertorials’ which pass off as genuine editorial features.”
The letter went on to detail how articles had apparently been written on subjects suggested by advertisers and that advertisers had been allowed to vet copy.
Richard Desmond’s Express Newspapers fell foul of the advertising watchdog four times in August after running advertorials as editorial features, a move which the Advertising Standards Authority said aimed to “intentionally” get round the advertising code.