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The Atlantic apologises for Church of Scientology sponsored blog article

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 15, 2013 | 2 min read

American newspaper The Atlantic has issued an apology for an ad for the Church of Scientology which appeared on its website.

The newspaper admitted ‘we screwed up’ following the running of the blog, sponsored by the religion.

The blog began: "2012 was a milestone year for Scientology, with the religion expanding to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, spanning 167 nations—figures that represent a growth rate 20 times that of a decade ago. The driving force behind this unparalleled era of growth is David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion."

In a statement, The Atlantic has now said: “We screwed up. It shouldn't have taken a wave of constructive criticism — but it has — to alert us that we've made a mistake, possibly several mistakes. We now realize that as we explored new forms of digital advertising, we failed to update the policies that must govern the decisions we make along the way. It's safe to say that we are thinking a lot more about these policies after running this ad than we did beforehand. In the meantime, we have decided to withdraw the ad until we figure all of this out. We remain committed to and enthusiastic about innovation in digital advertising, but acknowledge—sheepishly—that we got ahead of ourselves. We are sorry, and we're working very hard to put things right.”

The page has now gone offline, with the comment ‘We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.’

the Atlantic

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