Saturday, July 25, 2015
Sponsored content, aka native advertising, sparks controversy
Native advertising is online advertising that looks like a regular article on a website, but is actually written by an advertiser to promote their product.
A recent survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism found that a third of news consumers in the U.S. and U.K. feel tricked or let down by sponsored content or native ads.
Half of news consumers surveyed grudgingly accept sponsored content because they understand that it helps provide them with free news. But more than a quarter think less of the news outlet that publishes native ads, Poynter reported last month.
New media outlets like BuzzFeed, Gawker Media, Huffington Post and Atlantic Media have aggressively pursued native ads. Old media like the New York Times and Washington Post also have gotten in the game.
Even the satirical news website The Onion runs sponsored content. But at least they do so with a sense of humor and an in-your-face attitude.
“Commerce is the blood that feeds the black heart of avarice. Enjoy this #sponsored content,” the Onion tweeted with a weblink earlier this month.
Art: Joy of Tech comic lampooning native ads.