The decision, from Conde Nast’s “corporate office,” according to Reddit, pertained not just to images of a marijuana leaf, but of all marijuana legalization advertising. We would be allowed to run ads using the site’s self-serve text advertisement tool, but no image or display ads.
Just Say Now requested a written explanation of our rejection, which we have not yet received. I spoke to an advertising representative at Reddit yesterday who informed me of the rejection.
Like Facebook, Reddit’s users prolifically post about pot. There are at least five marijuana-related “sub-reddits,” or reddit sites dedicated to specific topics and managed by users. Those include the subreddits trees, marijuana, weed, cannabis, and prop19. Users post news articles, musings, photos, and other content to the site, which is voted up or down by others on Reddit. On several marijuana subreddits, the up and down vote arrows are marijuana leafs.
Earlier this week I requested advertising rates for those subreddits, among others, as well as the home page of Reddit.com for our marijuana legalization campaign. After seeing the significant attention marijuana issues, and Proposition 19, received on the site, it seemed a natural place to try to advertise for supporters.
Indeed, Reddit users have been largely supportive of Firedoglake’s coverage and activism around marijuana legalization. Many tens of thousands of visits to Firedoglake in the last month have come from Reddit, mostly for our coverage of Prop 19.
While Reddit itself seemed eager to run ads in support of legalization, Conde Nast overruled the site’s operators and finance staff.
Just Say Now will run text advertisements on Reddit in support of marijuana legalization regardless of Conde Nast’s censorship. We’ll also work with the Reddit community to support Prop 19 in 2010, and to pass marijuana legalization across the country in 2012 and beyond.
Note: Reddit linked to their response in a comment thread, calling the ban “bullshit.”