Sierra Club files complaint over unlabelled Canwest oilsands ad features

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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An environmental group is accusing Canada's largest media chain of blurring the lines between journalism and advertising.
The Sierra Club of Canada has filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council that alleges Canwest tried to hide the fact articles on the oilsands that ran in several of its 11 major dailies were paid for by Shell Canada.
Instead of being labelled advertising features, the stories were entitled "a special information feature, in partnership with Shell Canada."
Print versions of the stories were presented in newspaper format, with a different look than the paper's regular pages.
Online versions that are still posted are hard to tell from regular news stories.
The Sierra Club says the ads have appeared in at least six Canwest newspapers.
Canwest and Shell representatives weren't immediately available for comment.

Organizations: Canwest, Sierra Club, Shell Canada Advertising Standards Council

Geographic location: Canada

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