Advertiser Pressure and the Personal Ethical Norms of Newspaper Editors and Ad Directors

Gergely Nyilasy

University of Melbourne

Leonard N. Reid

University of Georgia


Advertisers often attempt to influence media by asking for special favors in exchange for their advertising dollars. Abundant anecdotal (Atkinson, 2004; Christians et al., 2009; Collins, 1992; Fine, 2004; Gorman, 2010; Gremillion and Yates, 1997; Hickey, 1998; Hoyt, 1990; Ives, 2010; Knecht, 1997; Rappleye, 1998; Sanders and Halliday, 2005; Sutel, 2005; Underwood, 1998a, 1998b) and more limited empirical evidence (An and Bergen, 2007; Hays and Reisner, 1990; Howland, 1989; Just and Levine, 2000; Just, Levine, and Regan, 2001; Price, 2003; Reisner and Walter, 1994; Soley and Craig, 1992) suggest the existence of “advertiser pressure”—the term introduced by Soley and Craig (1992).