Organic Consumers Association

Tell WebMD CEO David Schlanger to Stop Promoting Monsanto!

If you’re one of the nearly 12 million people who visit WebMD.com every month, you’re getting a healthy dose of Monsanto propaganda along with your “health research.”

Monsanto is one of the many corporate “sponsors” of WebMD. That means Monsanto pays WebMD in order to pepper WebMD’s website with advertisements and advertorials (ads disguised as legitimate journalism).

TAKE ACTION: Tell WebMD CEO Schlanger to stop promoting Monsanto, the world’s largest poison pusher!

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD) is a publicly held corporation that answers first and foremost to its shareholders. The company, with its long history of deceiving consumers and partnering up with drug, junk food and biotech companies, is not, and never was, in the business of caring about consumers—a fact meticulously documented in an article published this week (January 19, 2016) by Mercola.com.

Why bother to ask one corrupt corporation, WebMD, to cut ties with another, equally or exceedingly corrupt corporation (Monsanto)?

Because Monsanto’s propaganda is cleverly disguised as legitimate health advice. So cleverly, that millions of visitors to the site probably have no idea that they’re being duped. (WebMD publishes a long, detailed explanation of what a sponsor is, what its advertising and editorial policies are, knowing full well that few, if any, visitors will ever see, much less read it).

According to Mercola.com:

In years past, the line between editorial and advertorial content was quite clear, and there was virtually no confusion about the fact that you were reading an ad. Today, you have to be more “eagle-eyed” to spot these differences.

A business has to pay for a sponsorship/advertorial just like it would a regular ad, and in some cases, they pay significantly more than they would for a regular ad. But the expense of a sponsorship/advertorial is considered worth it because: 

The venue where your sponsored advertorial is going (in this case, WebMD and its affiliates) has no input on the content — the advertiser has full control over the text of the “informative” ad
You, the advertiser, can control how the information is presented on the page, as opposed to having to select a regular display ad format.
Although expensive, the sponsored advertorial can be used in multiple publications.
Companies can reuse a sponsored advertorial as a stand-alone ad in other places.

As consumers, we “consume” more than just food, or clothes, or cars or other physical products. We are also consumers of information. The business minds behind WebMD know that—which means they know that when they sell advertorial space to a corporation like Monsanto, consumers will be bombarded with advertisements masquerading as facts.

WebMD’s CEO may not care what kind of information his website peddles. He probably doesn’t care what you and I think.

But we think it’s important for consumers seeking information about their health to know that a huge percentage of the content they see on WebMD originates from companies like Monsanto, not from experts on human health and nutrition.