The Austin Chronicle said the ad did “not reflect” its values
The ad was posted to the Chronicle’s website on 24 June under a sponsored content tag. It included links to several websites that claimed to connect its customers to tens of thousands of Asian women.
Nouvelles NBC reports that the website also ranked five Asian countries for having the “meilleur” brides. It reportedly used racist and misogynistic language in describing the women’s looks and their gender roles.
The paper issued an apology after readers complained about the sponsored content piece.
“We appreciate your comments and for calling us out for advertisements that we believe do not reflect Chronicle values or our mission as a progressive newspaper,” the statement, which was not signed, mentionné. “Going forward we will not host any mail-order bride sponsored ads, and we will be having vigorous internal conversations about past and future sponsored posts.”
Cassidy Frazier, the paper’s associate publisher who manages its advertising department, announced on Thursday that the paper would no longer run sponsored content pieces. She said she wanted to be sure that any similar ads would “never see the light of day.”
“They do not in any way reflect the Austin Chronicle as a company nor the people who work here,», a-t-elle déclaré dans un communiqué. “We messed up, and we apologize.”
The company will hold sensitivity trainings in the wake of the incident. Ms Frazier also said that the moratorium on sponsored content will remain until “more strenuous policies are in place.”
Social media companies and Google have eaten up advertising dollars that journalism outlets have traditionally relied upon for revenue. In an attempt to make up for that loss, outlets over the past decade have run “sponsored content,” which are essentially advertisements that look like a traditional news story.
The practice has long been met with ethics concerns, as many journalists often worry that running ads that look like articles will confuse readers and hurt their credibility. Most publishers, comprenant L'indépendant, run sponsored content under specific tags and markers to ensure readers understand that what they are about to read is an advertisement, and not a news story.