Recently I was reached out by a reporter asking if I can write an article about an online software product of mine:
I was hoping that someone at $organization might be willing to write an article explaining what you do, the history of the organization and how it works.
After some back & forth, and about a week of work, I wrote a detailed article about the niche, summarizing our findings, and explaining how we solve the problem.
Reporter come back to me:
Our editorial policy/guidelines does not allow us to publish articles that could be interpreted as endorsing any business where fees are involved even if the organization is a non profit. Therefore our editor will be tweaking your piece to fit our guidelines.
They have specifically asked about the business, with no mention of this policy prior to me performing the work. They have put it in writing, that they will not be honoring the payment of mentioning the product. To me, this imports as classic bait&switch.
Is this legally actionable? If so, what are maximum damages under penalty of law, that I can seek?
And a what-if scenario: if damages are >$500, can I come back to them basically saying, that they can either run the original article as a full page advertisement (which is, according to their listing is $200), OR I will push this through court?