The Swedish free daily Metro lost a case in the Swedish Market Court in June this year. The paper had published a “wrap” – a front and back cover page – that was an advertisement in the form of an article. The Court set a fine of 500,000 kronor if Metro should continue the practice since there needed to be a clear distinction between ad space and editorial content.
But the paper continues to push the blurry border between ads and articles. Metro has a co-operation with the two Hachette magazines Elle and Café regarding a page with fashion news. Yesterday the top of the page contained two short paragraphs with information about the content in the latest editions of the two magazines. The articles were signed “Metro”, as if they were news items. While some might argue that this is no big deal, the two magazines’ logos are right next to the articles, it shows an attitude that it is ok to let advertisers or contributors influence the editorial space.