3.1. – What is the relationship between editorial values and advertising content?

What kind of relationship is there between the newspaper’s editorial values and its advertising content?

Would a daily newspaper committed to sustainable development accept, for example, publishing advertisements for low-cost tour operators or airlines?

What strategy is adopted: consistency between both departments (editorial and marketing) or are they treated separately?

Are these principles formalised?

The rules and practices that govern the possibility of rejecting an advertisement, if it is felt to conflict with the values of the newspaper, need to be listed.

Complete answers


De Standaard : This is carefully considered

De Standaard has established a clear boundary between editorial space and advertising. Advertising cannot, in any circumstances, influence editorial policy, either by asking for a subject to be treated or not treated.

Without taking it to extremes, the newspaper tries not to mix genres, even in times of crisis, when pressures may be strong and exchanges between different departments are many and frequent.

An example of this occurred a few years ago when De Standaard followed the Belgian press collective decision to refuse all political advertising from the Vlaams block, the Flemish far-right organisation.


Europe 1 : Vigilance

The line is clear: advertising partners cannot dictate a subject. The Wednesday afternoon meetings between heads of News and Advertising ensure this is the case.

France 24 : Not always easy

There is no promotion of political parties. Even if France 24 agrees to show tourist advertisements for dictatorship countries, it does not flinch from broadcasting reports about their authoritarian power or their opponents.

The editorial office pays careful attention to anything that could be hidden advertising, such as regattas where sponsors are shown on boat sails.

Infomercials are clearly indicated on the website by the use of a different template.

Le Monde : There are no formal rules

Some advertising may be refused.

Ouest France : Editorial values come first

One of the specificities of Ouest-France is that the principles outlined in its charters are applied equally to the advertising that appears inside the publication, so monitoring accountability is simple. When necessary, advertisements can be refused according to the clearly identified criteria in place.


Berliner Zeitung : Strictly separate

The Redaktionsstatut (internal charter) of the Berliner Zeitung and German press codex forbids any mixing of advertising and editorial content.

This principle is strictly adhered to.

ZDF : There is no connection

The ZDF has precise guidelines, «  ZDF Richtlinien für Werbung, Sponsoring, Gewinnspiele und Produktionshilfe » to avoid any inconsistencies or potential attacks on the credibility of the programming, news included.


The Irish Times : None

The editorial pages, written by the journalists, are completely independent of advertising spaces. The boundary between the two is totally impermeable.


Polskie Radio, kanal 3 : The law and the market

Advertising is seldom refused and definitely not for ideological reasons or values. Refusals are motivated by respect for the law, for instance the law regarding the promotion of alcohol

On the other hand, advertising slots are very variable and news programmes at peak viewing times are highly desirable advertising slots (up to eight minutes for 50 minutes of broadcasting time).

United Kingdom

BBC : There is no advertising

The only channel of the BBC Group which can broadcast advertising is BBC Worldwide as it is not financed by a licence fee.

However, accordance with its tradition of formalising its commitments, the group has drawn up a guide for advertising and partnerships, notably for its on-line services.

The latest version is dated 2013: www.bbcworldwide.com/advertising.aspx .

The Guardian : This is also the responsibility of the editorial department

The Editor-in-Chief is also responsible for advertising content. If the Editor-in-Chief does not agree with an advertisement, they can ask for it to be removed from the newspaper.