e.Republic Disclosures

e.Republic clearly identifies Sponsor Content on its sites through the use of special labels that link to the guidelines on this page. 

Special Report

The content was underwritten by the sponsor that may have contributed to it but did not review it prior to publication.

Sponsored Paper, Video, or Webinar

This content was commissioned and the sponsor reviewed it before it was published.

Contributed Solution

This content was written and produced by the sponsor.

The public display of these labels coupled with the policy to which they link are intended to allow users to differential among types of content on the sites in order to preserve editorial integrity and reader trust.

Sponsor Content Guidelines

e.Republic’s print and digital publications – including Government Technology (govtech.com) Emergency Management (emergencymgmt.com), GOVERNING (governing.com) and FutureStructure.com – are supported by advertising.

Advertising is changing.  Advertisers and marketers are adding a growing number of new formats to augment display advertising, including audio, video, animation, advertorials, infographics, interactive multimedia and campaigns integrating social and other forms of new media. Advertisers and sponsors are moving in this direction to reach audiences in a way that is most attractive and useful to readers and users.

Taken together, these products and activities comprise a category called sponsor content.  Sponsor Content is content created or commissioned by advertisers in collaboration with e.Republic’s custom media and marketing units.  Subject to these guidelines, e.Republic accepts: (a) sponsor content produced by custom media and marketing as commissioned by its advertisers; and (2) sponsor content produced by advertisers or its agents.  

By definition, media companies are in the middle of – or mediate – the conversation or contact between readers and advertisers.   That is true of display advertising and sponsor content.  In all cases, e.Republic reserves the right to refuse advertising or sponsorship material at its sole discretion.

These guidelines describe how we manage sponsor content, and why.  They apply to all sponsor content served or appearing in print and digital publications of e.Republic and its affiliates.  While guidelines cannot anticipate every eventuality, they do articulate principles that will guide and inform our work. 

Developing, displaying and consistently applying these sponsor content guidelines help maintain trust and transparency among our publications, readers and advertisers;

Principle One: Appropriateness of Fit

e.Republic has high expectations of content – both its own original material and that to which it connects its readers and users.

At one level, sponsor content is intended to fulfill most of the same principles as regular content with a tone and quality consistent with the values, insight and usefulness that characterizes all content in our publications.  In that way, it should ‘fit in’ by being the type of material users come to the site for in the first place, both in terms of content and tone.  It should provide value – that is, be useful and interesting - to all readers, including but not limited to those interested in buying the sponsor’s products or services.

In another way, sponsor content needs to stand out. The guidelines that follow are focused on that objective.

Principle Two: Editorial Integrity 

Editors maintain independence from the process of producing or acquiring sponsor content.  Like all advertising, sponsor content may not reflect the views and choices of the editors of its magazines or websites.  To those ends:

  • e.Republic may refuse or remove any advertising or sponsor content that, in its judgment, is inconsistent with or would undermine the  intellectual integrity, authority, and character of e.Republic brands; 
  • Sponsor content may from time to time address controversial or contested issues and take a distinct point of view on matters of public concern. Those views may not necessarily coincide with the editorial position of our publications.  In all cases, the views expressed are expected to raise the level of public discourse and not disparage people or organizations with opposing views or damage the reputation of our publications; 
  • e.Republic may, at its sole discretion, enable readers to comment on sponsor content on its sites. If the comment function is enabled on sponsor content, the sponsor will not have any role in moderating such comments. e.Republic employees will use the same moderation standards on sponsor content as they do with all content; and,
  • Editorial social media accounts are not used to originate social mentions or other promotion of sponsor content; and
  • Editors will not be involved in deciding whether to accept or reject an advertiser, an advertisement or sponsor content.  Those decisions and the application of these guidelines will be the exclusive purview of the business leadership of the respective publication and e.Republic as a whole.

Principle Three: Transparency

Sponsor content must be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.  To that end: 

  • e.Republic will label sponsor content as “sponsor(ed) content” or “advertisement” when, in its opinion, the labels are necessary to make clear the distinction between editorial material and advertising.  A link or pop up will advise users: “This content is made possible by a sponsor.  It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of our editorial staff.”
  • In certain circumstances, e.Republic will expand the advisory to describe the role of sponsor in the creation of the content with one of these disclosures:
    • SPECIAL REPORT: The content was underwritten by the sponsor that may have contributed to it but did not review it prior to publication.
    • SPONSORED PAPER, VIDEO or WEBINAR: This content was commissioned and the sponsor reviewed it before it was published.
    • CONTRIBUTED SOLUTION: This content was written and produced by the sponsor.

Updates and Revisions 

As the advertising market continues to evolve, we anticipate changes will be needed to the specifics of these guidelines.  Anchored in the principles articulated above, we will learn by doing.  Our intent is to revisit, update and, if needed, correct these guidelines based on feedback and suggestions from our readers and other observers.

Questions or concerns about these guidelines should be directed to the Publisher of the respective magazine or e.Republic’s Chief Content Officer.

January 21, 2014