Honeywell Inc. has cancelled about $400,000 in advertising scheduled to run in Business Week magazine during the balance of this year because management found a cover story "hostile" rather than "supportive."
The article in the March 27 issue said that the computer marketing strategy of the big Minneapolis-based controls manufacturer was "in disarray." The article said Honeywell "claims the No. 2 spot in the industry" but it "rates a poor fifth" in computer revenues.
The story was "showcased" on the cover with the words, "Are computers heading for a back seat at Honeywell?" This was illustrated with a drawing of a Honeywell-type control, half in ice and half in bright sunlight.
Dean Randall, Honeywell vice president for communications, said the article "simply was not true" and the inaccuracy was damaging, adding.
"An advertiser runs his advertising in a supportive atmosphere or, at the very least, a neutral atmosphere, but not a hostile atmosphere, which we consider this to be."
Randall said Honeywell originally had planned about $500,000 worth of advertising in Business Week for 1978 and some of it already had appeared, leaving about $400,000 to be cancelled.
The action caused a flurry in the advertising world; but Randall said he was unable to understand the interest the pullout has created. He previously had complained in a letter published in the April 10 issue of Business Week. In it he said, "All of us at Honeywell were deeply disturbed at the thrust of your recent article." He said, after reviewing the company's computer-marketing strategy, "We find it inconceivable" that the magazine would suggest Honeywell had a strategy of de-emphasizing or withdrawing from the computer business.
In New York, a spokesman for Business Week said its readers respected the magazine's objectivity and that, although both advertisers and nonadvertisers sometimes disagreed with its stories, the fact that one might be an advertiser was irrelevant to the magazine's editors.