Opinions from ASBPE’s ethics committee on questions submitted by members.


ASBPE Ethics Advisories, a free service, are opinions issued by the ASBPE’s Ethics Committee on ethical questions that are submitted by members only.

To seek advice not specifically addressed by our ethics guide — B2B Journalist Ethics: An ASBPE Guide to Best Practices — members may send an e-mail FULLY describing their situation. Also include:

  • your mission statement
  • description of your readers
  • description of your advertisers

Please send your business-to-business ethics-related questions to ethics@asbpe.org.

As a service to all our B2B colleagues, Ethics Advisories that don’t identify the parties involved might be published on the ASBPE website. We honor requests for anonymity.

New Ethics Advisory: Should authors of articles that are the target of reader criticism be allowed to preview complaint letters prior to publication?
A recently published article drew fire from several readers challenging factual claims. Before the next issue went to press, the editorial director shared the three letters of criticism with the people who had been featured in the allegedly erroneous article.

Proactive marketing effort is editor’s best response when publisher seeks to increase ad/editorial swaps
Advertiser pressure for more editorial tie-ins continues to be the dominant ethical issue editors confront. A nervous publisher coping with ad sales slippage may attempt to trample editorial colleagues.

ASBPE Ethics Advisory: Be Realistic When Addressing Sales Department Requests For Stronger Editorial Hooks
Editors increasingly are being pressed by salespeople to schedule articles that have “advertiser appeal.” To what extent can editors defend quality and ethic concerns without jeopardizing their careers?

ASBPE Ethics Advisory: Editor’s Participation in Sponsored Webinars
A group editorial director invited Ethics Committee comment on a written policy covering staff involvement in advertiser-sponsored webinars.

ASBPE Ethics Advisory: Article reviews by PR reps
An editor would like to send his stories to the PR reps of those quoted in the story ahead of printing.
Download PDF version (48K PDF): ASBPE Ethics Advisory 2008-09-12: Article Reviews by PR reps