Atlantic magazine in PR flap over scientology ‘sponsored post’

The venerable magazine published—and later removed—an advertorial about the Church of Scientology that drew serious flak.

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The Atlantic drew major flak on Monday for a piece of sponsored content touting the Church of Scientology that the venerable magazine ran on its website.

By Monday night, the magazine had removed the article from its site.

The piece is titled “David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year,” referring to the church’s controversial leader. It touts Miscavige for, among other things, leading the church into “a renaissance for the religion itself, while driving worldwide programs to serve communities through Church-sponsored social and humanitarian initiatives.”

The magazine was also criticized for reportedly deleting negative comments in the comments section of the story.

In place of the story, The Atlantic posted language that says, “We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads.”

The firestorm took hold on Twitter, where the criticism ranged from thoughtful:

Wow. Quite a misstep by The Atlantic. It publishes, and then removes, sponsored content from the Church of Scientology.

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