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AP Tweets a Branded Story From Windex and BuzzFeed: Does Convoluted Ad Play Cross a Line?

My Big Fat Greek Wedding promo raises questions

The Associated Press has run sponsored posts on its Twitter account since 2013. AP/Twitter

Windex, in partnership with BuzzFeed and agency EnergyBBDO, created a sponsored listicle earlier this month to capitalize on the brand's connection to My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. The sequel to the 2002 film arrives in theaters today, so it only makes sense that Windex would want to promote the content on Twitter today.

But in an odd move, the brand partnered with the Associated Press, which this morning tweeted out the branded listicle from BuzzFeed to its 7.24 million followers. 

According to a spokewoman for the AP, the tweet is standard practice: It was sponsored by Windex, and sponsored tweets are nothing new for the news organization. In fact, the AP has been running sponsored posts in its Twitter feed since 2013.

What is questionable, though, is whether the news organization can tweet branded content from another publisher without that publisher's consent. BuzzFeed and the AP do not have a formal deal, and BuzzFeed was not made aware of the tweet before it was posted.

It's also unclear if, as part of its deal with BuzzFeed, Windex has full ownership of its sponsored content and can post it on any social platform. 

Reps from EnergyBBDO directed Adweek to Windex's parent company, SC Johnson, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

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