VeloNews editor John Bradley has taken to Facebook to complain about a certain company he says was threatening to pull ads if a news story was run about a rather juicy product scoop. Bradley did not name the company on his Facebook posting.
Bradley claimed that the company in question – Voldemort ... sorry, no, it's Shimano – told him: "Run this, and we’ll cancel our remaining advertising with you for 2016."
"In fact," wrote Bradley on Facebook, "they ... [it 's still Shimano, folks] ... threatened to pull their ads not just from VeloNews but also from another title that is owned by the company that owns us. They even reached out to other brands in the cycling industry to try to increase the pressure on us."
The VeloNews editor continued, on Facebook: "I love the brand in question. [Japanese company, makes gears] I count many friends amongst their staff and am a huge fan of their products [makes fishing reels, too]. They'll continue to receive fair coverage in VeloNews, ads or no. They know ... that I would never hold coverage hostage for ad buys."
Bradley added: "we won’t give into coercion or allow brands to hold ads hostage in exchange for editorial influence."
The Facebook posting has been attracting a fair bit of industry involvement, with mostly positive comments. But there have also been some spiky ones. Andrew Juskaitis, Giant's global product marketing manager, commented: "I would have not been surprised to see this "by any means necessary" type of journalism from BikeRumor ... but not VeloNews." Juskaitis is a former tech editor of, er, VeloNews.