"We screwed up," said The Atlantic, explaining that it had pulled an advertorial sponsored by the Church of Scientology from its website: "We now realize that as we explored new forms of
digital advertising, we failed to update the policies that must govern the decisions we make along the way."
The brouhaha showed that publishers can sail into uncharted waters with native advertising. The Atlantic garnered a wave of negative Web attention for reportedly not marking the piece more clearly as an ad (it even had a comments section -- and as at least one commenter noted, when have ads ever solicited comments?), but also for not "ensuring that these ads actually reflect what readers are actually interested in," writes Jared Keller. Or as one commenter puts it: "If the company or organization that wants to advertise is despised by your audience, perhaps you should just say no."