Quartz, in this deal, is getting one article, which needs a fair amount of editing; it’s a tiny proportion of Quartz’s daily output. Meanwhile, Brandtone is getting something very valuable indeed. Just look at the US flack-to-hack ratio: it’s approaching 9:1, according to the Economist, which means that for every professional journalist, there are nine people, some of them extremely well paid, trying to persuade that journalist to publish something about a certain company. That wouldn’t be the case if those articles weren’t worth serious money to the companies in question.
How valuable? How about somewhere between $250,000 and $1 million? That’s the amount of money that Fortune’s ad-sales team was asking, earlier this month, for a new product called Fortune Trusted Original Content: