For information about advertising on halfwheel, click here.

To the readers,

This page exists to disclose information about who spends money with halfwheel, the business. We sell advertising that is displayed alongside the content you see here at That’s it. We don’t sell cigars, we don’t have a magazine, we don’t sell consulting services, etc. (It is possible we once charged a cigar company for an event, but that hasn’t happened in at least five years. I really don’t remember. Separately, we have previously co-hosted/promoted events in the last five years, but we did not charge money for the cigar companies to participate in said events, nor did we profit from the events. Needless to say, we still don’t have an events business.) 

We sell digital advertising, and it is sold almost exclusively to cigar companies and retailers, many of which we write about.

There are many pros and many cons to this.

Arguably, the most important pro is that those companies fund halfwheel as a full-time business, which allows us to write a lot more (both breadth and depth) than if we were working other jobs in addition to producing halfwheel. At the top of the cons list is that this is very clearly a conflict of interest.

Conflicts of interest are unavoidable for any for-profit and many non-profit media outlets. All of them. To be clear, halfwheel is a for-profit business. But even if we were a 100 percent subscriber-funded non-profit, eventually, we’d be reporting about the company that one of our subscribers works at, let alone owns. Given our subject matter, we’d be doing it on day one.

Even outside of the cigar business, I cannot think of one media outlet that is somehow free of all financial conflicts of interest, let alone the non-financial ones. 

It would be better to have more separation between the editorial and financial sides, but I think that’s largely vanity. Functionally, it seems much more important who owns the company than who is selling the ads. Brooks Whittington, Patrick Lagreid and I own 100 percent of Rueda Media, LLC, the holding company that owns halfwheel. Changing that part of the equation is far more complicated, and it’s something that I think we, as the owners of the business, should be able to decide. That said, if I was just a reader of halfwheel, I would want the other side of the equation: disclosure. 

For quite some time, we’ve tried to be reasonably upfront about who is directly funding this operation. That includes this page, listing every single company that has agreed to purchase advertising at any point in the current year. We’ve been doing this for a few years now. A long(er)-standing practice is to include a disclosure in each review regarding whether the company is currently advertising and whether the product was purchased by or provided to halfwheel. While we’ve been doing this a lot longer than “a few years,” not every review has these disclosures. We haven’t been perfect, but we’ve tried to be better. Part of that improvement is this note. 

From day one, our ethos has always prioritized the work over the business. What we are willing to do—as evidenced by it happening—is have companies cancel advertising because of reviews. What we have been unwilling to do is write about a company differently because of anything related to advertising.

If, after all this, you still are unwilling to trust us—I understand. I think we, as the owners of the business, should be the ones that decide how we run it, but you, as a reader, should have complete authority about what to read and trust.

Charlie Minato
June 2023

The following is a list of companies advertising on halfwheel in 2024: