Editorial independence and native advertising
John Oliver gives good rant.
Everyone knows advertorials are manky, that advertising seeping into news is grubby, that there’s a difference between a lazy journalist recycling a press release and an actual ad (both are crap, but only the latter is paid for), that “native advertising” – the posh term for trying to get you to mistake an ad for something real – is trying to becoming more subtle, but still looks like an undercover Garda at Electric Picnic totally being all natural, like.
The camouflaging of advertising as news makes me shudder, but it’s the reality, and that’s part of how the news media ad money will just be now considering pretty much all other methods of advertising on news websites has failed. Whereas on the hard copy page, the ad is very much within the borders of its space, the failure of news and ad peeps to make money from advertising online due to putting things up for free there in the first place and then trying to shoehorn advertising in afterwards, means that ads now need to be stealthy. They gotta get ‘em in somehow, and if people are on that site to read articles, or top 10 lists, then the theory is: make the ads look like that and hopefully they’ll accidentally read them thinking they’ve hit upon information, not marketing.
Defenders of native advertising can talk all they want about consumers and content and storytelling: they’re still hawking ads, and trying to convince you to buy stuff you don’t need.
John Oliver of Last Week Tonight on HBO, nails it.