The Sun-Times follows these guidelines for custom media in order to ensure full disclosure and transparency.
We promise to:
We also promise that no member of the editorial staff may be involved in the research, writing, or production of custom publishing content. This policy applies equally to custom publishing content in print, in digital, research and events.
Adapted from: Society of Professional Journalists + Contently.com’s Code of Ethics for Journalism and Content Marketing:
Content that is submitted by an advertiser. Can be either written by advertiser or written (or rewritten) by custom media division. Generally promotes specific advertiser brand and topics are dictated by advertiser.
How it should be handled:
Print: Different typefaces. Should be clearly marked “sponsored” or “Produced by…” at top of the page/copy block. If part of page, should be separated from editorial by double rules.
Online: Clearly marked “sponsored” both on front of site and on top of story, or in separate section.
What is Custom Publishing?
This is when a brand pays a publisher to have its name and/or message associated with a particular story. Content typically takes the form of a brief intro paragraph informing readers that the following article is sponsored by an advertiser. You’ll see phrases like “brought to you by,” “presented by,” or “sponsored by.”
This is not content produced by the brand. The marketer is given a broad topic area that it can choose to associate its brand with. The marketer does not get a say in what will be produced. (Digiday)
*Can be viewed differently from brand content which, in some circles, is referred to as the content produced by brands and published on their own plaforms, i.e. RedBull
What is Custom Publishing Not?
Content marketing differs from advertising, advertising-based story-telling and other promotional vehicles in one specific way: the intent of this mode of communication is to provide useful, educational, or entertaining information on its own merit. Content marketing is a pull strategy, unlike advertising, which is push. This marketing technique intends to “pull” the consumer toward the brand and create a user experience which will ultimately increase brand awareness and preference.