There’s an ad battle going on between reddit and its parent company Conde Nast over whether or not to run pro-marijuana legalization ads on the site. Because the two sides have disagreed on whether or not take money from a pro-marijuana organization, reddit has decided to run the ads free of charge.
Here’s the background. Reddit was offered a contract to run ads supporting California’s Prop 19, which would legalize marijuana in the Golden State. But corporate didn’t want reddit to accept the funds. This surprised the reddit editors, as the company has struggled to grow, even going as far as asking readers for donations.
Reddit asked for a response from corporate, which said “As a corporation, Conde Nast does not want to benefit financially from this particular issue.”
So reddit decided to throw the ads on the site gratis, saying, “Since we’re not allowed to benefit financially, reddit is now running the ads for free.”
This has led to quite the response on reddit’s comment board. One person wrote in, saying “They’re on a ‘reddit needs to be better monetized’ kick, and then they’re refusing money from a group that’s got advertisements relevant to many redditors. You should throw in a line item on your next financial report to corporate for ‘money we would have made if Conde Nast didn’t veto ads’.”
What do you think; did reddit do the right thing?