“And now a word from our sponsor,” might be appropriate with the debut today of a column, backed by a local bank, in the Philadelphia Inquirer business section. Editor William K. Marimow maintains Citizens Bank will have no influence on the content that will be produced by Inquirer staffers. Allied with the weekday column will be a bank ad across the bottom of the page and a smaller ad in the top corner.
Boxed in green, the bank’s color, the column will focus on items about local, publicly-traded companies. It’s unclear, however, if the local firms have a working relationship with the financial institution, a unit of the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Grumpy Editor wonders how the Inquirer’s sponsored business column will treat news developments linked to Citizens Bank and its parent or negative news relating to the banking industry along with items pertaining to competitive financial institutions in Citizens’ marketing area.
It will be interesting to see if this spawns other sponsorship in the Inquirer, such as a baseball team backing a column in the sports section, a cosmetics manufacturer behind a beauty column or a motion picture distributor getting behind an entertainment column.