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The author complains about an advertisement in the September 1998 issue of Windpower Monthly, which he says is misleading because it resembles an article. The editor replies.

When I began to read the article entitled "Wind Farm Design at the Touch of a Button" (September), I was looking forward to an informative review of wind farm design software. I was not prepared for what was obviously a thinly disguised advertisement for a particular wind farm design software product.

The page header/banner suggested the article presented was simply another one of the various sections of the magazine although, interestingly, it is not listed in the table of contents. In other publications advertisements that are presented in "info-mercial" format are usually flagged with a note at the top or bottom of the page. I think that it would be fair to your readership to do so in this case as well.

If this article was a paid advertisement, I don't understand why it was not formatted like every other advertisement in the magazine. If it wasn't a paid advertisement, I think it would only be fair to offer equal space to any other publisher of wind farm design software in subsequent issues -- with the page top or bottom advisory that the article is an advertisement.

The so-called "article" in question was a paid advertisement over which Windpower Monthly had no editorial control, other than to refuse it. We were not informed in advance that the advertisement, which arrived in finished form, was to be a close copy of a Windpower Monthly editorial page. On receipt of the artwork, our intention was to reduce and frame the image and add a clear "Advertisement" headline. In the midst of deadline heat such instructions were not issued. We apologise to all readers for any confusion caused. In the future, advertisements which clearly intend to mislead readers will be refused.

Jim Salmon is seeking an "informative review of wind farm design software." If there is a knowledgeable person independent of the design software sector of the business prepared to place herself or himself in the wind industry's firing line to perform this task, please contact the editor. A bullet proof vest is available along with an appropriate fee.-----Ed.

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