Let me put it this way ... it's not unheard of in this and many other industries that (some) publications have clients frequently booking ads and in return they publish articles/reviews to please these clients.
There's many subtle ways to "pay for publicity" other than the direct way.
To say it with Shirley Bassey:
So let me get right to the point
I don't pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender,
Spend a little time with me
Absolutely. I mean, no human soil.