Sony’s Chummy Relationship With the Telegraph Revealed in Leaked Memo

Day after columnist resigns over advertiser influence, correspondence appears to show supportive relationship between movie studio and U.K. paper

Last Updated: February 18, 2015 @ 10:42 AM

A leaked memo shows a thin line between the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper and Sony Pictures, with the studio thanking the newspaper for “support across editorial, promotions and media.”

The Guy Fawkes blog obtained the memo sent from Sony Pictures Deputy Managing Director Stuart Williams to the Telegraph’s “Create” department, thanking the paper for its “support” around October’s “Fury” movie.

The UK paper heavily promoted the Brad Pitt film and gave it a glowing review, calling it an “astonishing” film that “brings us as close to an understanding of war as cinema can.”

“The activity and support across editorial, promotions and media has been truly outstanding and the enthusiasm, creative thinking and hard work by all the team has made it such a success,” Williams wrote to the Telegraph. “I do think the Telegraph are unique in being able to offer a really integrated solution that genuinely works in editorial and paid for activity.”

This message comes on the heels of political columnist Peter Oborne’s resignation over the outsized role advertisers play in the paper’s editorial.

“The coverage of HSBC in Britain’s Telegraph is a fraud on its readers,” Oborne wrote. “If major newspapers allow corporations to influence their content for fear of losing advertising revenue, democracy itself is in peril.”

The full memo below.

“From our side we are really delighted with how the partnership with the Telegraph on ‘Fury’ has turned out. We were very pleased last year with ‘Captain Phillips’ with yourselves and this has taken it to a new level. The activity and support across editorial, promotions and media has been truly outstanding and the enthusiasm, creative thinking and hard work by all the team has made it such a success. We look forward to seeing some of the numbers on the impact of the activity online. We were also really pleased you came on board as a partner at the LFF for the regional screenings and streaming, we hope you also felt this was a successful addition for you too. It really made it a complete partnership on the campaign. I do think the Telegraph are unique in being able to offer a really integrated solution that genuinely works in editorial and paid for activity.”

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