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Readers respond

Top JAMA editors explain how the editorial-advertising firewall really works

Richard L Glass(Richard.Glass@jama-archives.org)

To the Editor:

The article by Alison McCook, "Journal prints rejected paper—as ad" (April 29, 2005) includes the following statement attributed to Lee Friedman: "Furthermore, editors are not supposed to be able to veto ads, Friedman added." At many major biomedical journals, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, [and] the New England Journal of Medicine, editors are "blinded" to which ads are going into which issue, to separate editorial from advertising."

This statement is completely inaccurate and the last part of it is backward. As stated by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors: "Editors must have full and final authority for approving advertisements and enforcing advertising policy." Thus, editors certainly do veto ads. Furthermore, it is advertising sales staff who are blinded to editorial content to be certain that advertising is not sold based on editorial content or placement. Editors must...

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