Advertisers must be careful that they don’t run ads pretending to be journalism—at least in Canada.
Bearing Lithium Corp., a Canadian mining company, has settled charges with the British Columbia Securities Commission that it ran an advertorial without identifying it as such.
The content was released on news wires and websites without saying it was promoted content in 2017, when Bearing was known as Bearing Resources Ltd., according to the settlement issued by the British Columbia Securities Commission.
The company will pay $25,000, and CEO Jeremy Arthur William Poirier will pay $10,000.
The settlement states that Bearing “retained and paid Stock Social Inc. (Stock Social), a marketing company,” to conduct investor relations activities on its behalf. These included:
“Preparation and dissemination of an advertorial about Bearing on newswires and websites, and multiple promotional posts about Bearing by nineteen social media influencers on various social media platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn, investFeed, iHub, and Facebook.”
The settlement continues that the “advertorial was written in the style of a news article designed to look and read like objective journalistic content. However, none of the disseminations disclosed that the advertorial was issued on behalf of Bearing.”