News? Advertising? Fake? NYTimes TBrandStudio Gives BIC the Lowdown

3/06/2017 Unknown 0 Comments

In response to the challenges of discerning the truth in today's political environment, The New York Times partnered with Droga5 to launch its first advertising campaign in more than a decade during this year's Academy Awards. As stated in Politico, “There’s a national, and frankly global dialogue about the importance of facts and the truth and specifically the role quality independent, original journalism plays in that,” David Rubin of The Times said. "The Oscars is a great broad showcase for us to continue that dialogue and discussion and the role The Times' journalism plays in it and get people talking about the work we do.”

But is T Brand Studio, the successful brand marketing unit of The New York Times that produces paid native advertising for the newspaper, making it harder to discern the truth? Does providing content that relies on smart journalistic skills, but is not part of the editorial or journalistic sections of America's pre-eminent newspaper creating greater confusion in the minds of media consumers? To help answer those questions, BIC Professor Angela Chitkara invited Adam Aston, Editorial Director of T Brand Studio, and Deirdre Sullivan, Chief Counsel, to her BIC Leadership, Ethics and the Law class to discuss.

By evening's end, it became clear that content delivered via the T Brand Studio is thoroughly and legally scrutinized, has a much longer timeline to air, and is more expensive to produce than most pieces that exist on the other side of the editorial divide. Taking students through the regulations associated with all paid media, Ms. Sullivan was also joined by John Hancock, VP and Managing Director of the Energy Intelligence Group, who was on hand to review similar regulatory practices and ethical dilemmas presented in the paid/earned/owned spaces which are becoming more and more difficult to tell apart.

While no definitive answers were reached, the conversations in our BIC classrooms were certainly more informed.