Ethics and Advertising Guidelines

The economics of online media have made it a challenge for some news outlets to preserve editorial independence from commercial pressures. Here is an outline of Quartz’s business model and the measures it takes to maintain its integrity:

  • Quartz is wholly owned by the Atlantic Media Company, a privately held American corporation with holdings in media and marketing services.
  • It derives its principal income from companies that advertise on the Quartz website and underwrite Quartz events.
  • It will disclose any income that it derives from links to products for sale online, or partnerships with product-review sites.
  • It does not take payments of any kind in return for coverage.
  • It does not have shareholders, investors or other financial backers other than the Atlantic Media Company.
  • It does not have investments in other companies or projects.
  • It does not adjust its editorial content to advertisers’ wishes, nor to avoid covering subjects that may be sensitive for advertisers.

In addition, Quartz’s journalists:

  • are governed by a strict conflict-of-interest policy on personal financial activity.
  • have no involvement in the creation of advertising content.
  • do not accept paid trips or gifts (above a nominal value) that might influence their coverage. The one exception to this rule is for travel coverage, when the trip itself is being reviewed and would be too expensive for us to cover otherwise. In such cases, the fact that the trip was paid for will be disclosed on the same page as the coverage.
  • do not accept payment to speak at events where this could pose a conflict of interest, such as at a dinner hosted by a company they normally cover.
  • may accept travel costs and speaking fees for events such as conferences, where this does not pose a conflict of interest. If they write about anything related to the event, the fact that they were paid will be disclosed on the same page as the coverage.

Advertising Guidelines

These Guidelines set forth standards that govern Quartz’s relationship with its advertising partners and the relationship between editorial and advertising content. The overriding consideration is that Quartz must maintain its editorial integrity and the trust of its readers. We believe that establishing, publicly displaying, and adhering to these Guidelines is important to protect the trust and transparency that should exist between a publication, its readers, and its advertisers.

We also recognize that no set of Guidelines can address every situation or issue that may arise in the course of doing business, especially given the pace of change within the media industry.  Accordingly, we anticipate that these guidelines will be revisited and updated from time to time. In particular, we will remain teachable and open to suggestions, criticism, and correction from our readers and other interested parties.

General Advertising Guidelines

The Guidelines in the following section apply to all advertisements and sponsor content served by or appearing in the print and digital publications of Quartz and its affiliates (hereinafter “Quartz”), including ads purchased under AAAA/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions.

  • Quartz will not allow any relationship with an advertiser to compromise Quartz’s editorial integrity.
  • All advertising content must be clearly distinguishable from editorial content.  To that end, Quartz will label an advertisement with the word “Advertisement” when, in its opinion, this is necessary to make clear the distinction between editorial material and advertising.
  • Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that their ads are adequately substantiated and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. While the content of advertising does not reflect the views of Quartz or its editors—if it comes to the attention of Quartz that an ad, in our opinion, contains demonstrably false or unlawful content, Quartz will refuse or remove the ad in whole or in part.
  • Quartz may exercise its discretion to refuse or remove any advertising that is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Quartz’s brand.
  • Although Quartz will evaluate whether to work with advertisers on a case-by-case basis, some examples of advertising Quartz will not accept are the following:
    • Advertising that Quartz believes, in its opinion, is indecent, vulgar, suggestive, profane, or offensive.
    • Advertising for illegal products or services, including drugs, illegal substances, or any related products or services.
    • Advertising that Quartz believes includes hateful or violent text advocating against any individual, group, or organization.
    • Advertising that Quartz determines to be inflammatory.
    • Advertising that Quartz determines represents a personal attack against an individual, country, or organization.
    • Advertising that Quartz believes will undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of its mission and brand.

All determinations of the application of the foregoing standards to particular advertisements or advertisers shall be within the sole discretion of Quartz’s business-side staff. Quartz’s editors will not be involved in deciding whether to accept or reject specific advertisers.

  • All advertising agreements or contracts must include the standard terms and conditions from Quartz’s Insertion Order, which will supersede any Agreement between Quartz and its advertisers, including the AAAA/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions.  Moreover, Quartz may remove advertising content at any time if such content is inconsistent with the policies described herein, with or without prior notice to the advertising client and regardless of whether the advertising content has been accepted or displayed within Quartz for any period of time.

Sponsor Content Guidelines

The guidelines in the following section shall apply to all Sponsor Content served by or appearing in the digital publications of Quartz, including ads purchased under AAAA/IAB Standard Terms and Conditions. (These are in addition to the general guidelines for advertising content that appear above, which apply to Sponsor Content as well.)

  • Sponsor Content is content created by or expressly on behalf of advertisers in conjunction with Quartz’s marketing team (“Quartz Marketing”). Quartz allows Sponsor Content in two forms:  (1) Content produced by Quartz Marketing on behalf of its advertising partners and (2) Content produced by advertisers.
  • As with all advertising, Sponsor Content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of Quartz or its editors. Accordingly, Quartz will prominently display the following disclaimer on all Sponsor Content:  ‘SPONSOR CONTENT.’  Quartz will additionally include the following disclaimer on all Sponsor Content:  ‘This article is written by/on behalf of brand X and not by Quartz editorial staff’ Quartz may additionally include, in certain areas and platforms, further explanation defining Sponsor Content to Quartz readers. In addition, Quartz will ensure the treatment and design of Advertising and Sponsor Content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content.
  • Quartz does not require that Sponsor Content steer clear of controversy.  Indeed, we expect that Sponsor Content, like our own editorial content, will sometimes address contested issues and will be written with a distinct point of view. That said, even with the caveat that Sponsor Content does not necessarily reflect the views of Quartz or its editors, Quartz will refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise.
  • As with all advertising, and consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Quartz may reject or remove any Sponsor Content at any time that contains false, deceptive, potentially misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Quartz’s brand.

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Quartz is a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012, for business people in the new global economy. We publish bracingly creative and intelligent journalism with a broad worldview, built primarily for the devices closest at hand: tablets and mobile phones.

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