Reddit challenges Conde Nast, runs pro-pot ads for free

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Social news site Reddit has rejected calls from parent company Conde Nast to stop carrying ads in favour of the legalization of cannabis, and has vowed to run them for free.

The site had been carrying advertisements from organisations supporting California's controversial Proposition 19, which advocates the legalization of marijuana.

The ads concerned were from FireDogLake, which runs the Just say Now campaign.

"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," says FireDogLake's Michael Whitney. "We would be allowed to run ads using the site’s self-serve text advertisement tool, but no image or display ads."

But Reddit says it can comply with Conde Nast's order not to profit financially by simply running the ads for free.

"The Reddit admins were just blindsided with the news that, apparently, we're not allowed to take advertising money from sites that support California's Prop 19," says Reddit management in a statement.

"This was a decision made at the highest levels of Conde Nast. Reddit itself strongly disagrees with it, and frankly thinks it's ridiculous that we're turning away advertising money. We're trying to convince Corporate that they're making the wrong decision here."

Reddit is calling upon its supporters to start a petition to persuade Conde Nast of the error of its ways.

Conde Nast's response is that it doesn't want drug pushers' filthy lucre. "As a corporation, Conde Nast does not want to benefit financially from this particular issue," it told Reddit.

It's not an aversion Reddit shares - indeed, it runs what it calls a marijuana education center, called Trees, as well as four other cannabis-related sites.