Leaked Memo Shows Telegraph Offered Sony “Support Across Editorial”

In their response to Peter Oborne’s explosive resignation, the Telegraph strenuously denied allegations the distinction between editorial content and advertising is being blurred:

“We aim to provide all our commercial partners with a range of advertising solutions, but the distinction between advertising and our award-winning editorial operation has always been fundamental to our business. We utterly refute [sic] any allegation to the contrary.”

Media Guido has obtained a memo sent in October from Sony to the Telegraph’s ‘Create’ department, which produces sponsored content. The Deputy Managing Director of Sony Pictures thanks them specifically for their “unique” “integrated… editorial and paid for” content. Stuart Williams openly confirms Sony received “support across editorial, promotions and media” as part of “the partnership with the Telegraph” on the film Fury. The last line is killer:

“From our side we are really delighted with how the partnership with the Telegraph on Fury has turned out.  We were very pleased last year with Captain Phillips with yourselves and this has taken it to a new level.  The activity and support across editorial, promotions and media has been truly outstanding and the enthusiasm, creative thinking and hard work by all the team has made it such a success.  We look forward to seeing some of the numbers on the impact of the activity online.  We were also really pleased you came on board as a partner at the LFF for the regional screenings and streaming, we hope you also felt this was a successful addition for you too.  It really made it a complete partnership on the campaign.  I do think the Telegraph are unique in being able to offer a really integrated solution that genuinely works in editorial and paid for activity.

Incidentally, the Telegraph review of Fury described it as “astonishing” and “gripping” drama that “brings us as close to an understanding of war as cinema can”:

“The distinction between advertising and our award-winning editorial operation has always been fundamental…”




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Tom Scocca laments

“Gawker always said it was in the business of publishing true stories. Here is one last true story: You live in a country where a billionaire can put a publication out of business. A billionaire can pick off an individual writer and leave that person penniless and without legal protection.

If you want to write stories that might anger a billionaire, you need to work for another billionaire yourself, or for a billion-dollar corporation. The law will not protect you. There is no freedom in this world but power and money.”

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