20 Years Ago, Only 1 Baseball Stadium Had A Corporate Sponsor; Now All But 9 Do

20 Years Ago, Only 1 Baseball Stadium Had A Corporate Sponsor; Now All But 9 Do

When the 1994 baseball season started, there was only a single MLB stadium whose name could be considered a result of corporate sponsorship (and the company owned the team at the time, so even that is up for debate). When the 2014 season kicks off this spring, fewer than one-third of the stadiums are without a corporate name over the gates. [More]

Ad-Filled Monopoly Game, Deluxe Virtual Tooth Fairy, Potty With iPad Stand Top List Of Year’s Worst Toys

Ad-Filled Monopoly Game, Deluxe Virtual Tooth Fairy, Potty With iPad Stand Top List Of Year’s Worst Toys

Do your kids feel that board games are ho-hum without advertising from some of the world’s biggest brands? Maybe your girls and boys are bored with the virtual tooth fairy they already have (yes, this exists) and the only way to make them happy is to pay more to unlock a VIP edition? Or does your potty-training youngster cry because he or she has to take their eyes away from the iPad for a few seconds while they do their digestive duty? Then we have some toys for you! [More]

The Many Ways Of Hiding An Ad As A “Sponsored Post”

The Many Ways Of Hiding An Ad As A “Sponsored Post”

Advertisers have always sought seamless integration of their brands into consumer-targeted content, driven by the notion that the audience is less irritated by a commercial if it doesn’t scream “I’m a commercial.” But at what point does that line get so fuzzy that it’s hard to tell the difference between the two? [More]

Buzzfeed makes no attempt to disguise sponsored content. Other sites take a stealthier approach.

Feds To Investigate The Fuzzy Line Between Advertising & Editorial Content

Call them “advertorials,” “sponsored stories,” “brand journalism,” or — the latest nonsense term — “native advertising,” but it’s all the same: An ad that looks an awful lot like — and is often not distinguishable from — a website’s editorial content. Since consumers have long stopped even noticing banners, click away from pages with auto-play video ads, and increasingly use mobile devices to go online, advertisers have turned to these ad-wolves in editorial sheep’s clothing. [More]

Searching for "Manziel" brings up his jersey, even though his name is nowhere on it or in the description.

Companies Profit Off College Football Players’ Names Without Having To Mention Players’ Names

Manufacturers of licensed NCAA jerseys are not allowed to produce items with players’ names on the back, allegedly to maintain the “amateur” image of college athletics and allow apparel companies to claim they aren’t making truckloads of cash on the shoulders of scholar/athletes who receive no direct money for all the tickets and merchandise sold each year. But search results on the NCAA’s own e-commerce site shows that the organization and apparel companies make money off players’ names without having to actually mention those names. [More]

Cowboys Stadium Is Now AT&T Stadium

Cowboys Stadium Is Now AT&T Stadium

As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, it would be very easy for me to say that football’s Emperor Palpatine finally has his Death Star, but I would never stoop so low as to make a joke like that. Rather, I’ll just straight out tell you that after four seasons, Cowboys Stadium now has a corporate name with today’s announcement that Tony Romo will soon be throwing clutch interceptions at the newly renamed AT&T Stadium. [More]

FTC To Search Engines: Do A Better Job Of Labeling Paid Search Results As Ads

FTC To Search Engines: Do A Better Job Of Labeling Paid Search Results As Ads

A decade ago, the Federal Trade Commission told the major Internet search engines that they should be more transparent about search results that received premium placement because the advertiser paid for it. The companies eventually obliged, but the FTC says that search engines have backslid and begun being less-than-transparent again, and that they could still do more to distinguish between ads and organic search results. [More]

Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi On Product Placement: “It’s Hard To Make That Sh!t Sound Natural”

Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi On Product Placement: “It’s Hard To Make That Sh!t Sound Natural”

The recent comedy flop The Internship took a lot of flack, and deservedly so, for being a feature-length ad for Google masquerading as a movie. But compared to some product-placement-packed reality TV shows, that film looks like a fiercely independent labor of love. [More]

Microsoft To Offer Ad-Free Version Of Bing For Schools

Microsoft To Offer Ad-Free Version Of Bing For Schools

While both Google and Microsoft’s Bing search engines have “safe search” options intended to let younger school children research reports on things like “backyard drilling” without getting results that might require a lot of awkward explanations from their parents, neither had offered an ad-free version. But in the fall, Microsoft will launch “Bing for Schools,” which promises not to invade our schools’ libraries with advertising. [More]

Google google google google google.

Google Referenced Once Every 2.3 Minutes In ‘The Internship’

Even after our product-placement round-up last week, we still haven’t seen two-hour Google ad called The Internship, and now it’s even less likely that we ever will, as someone who did see it went through and tallied up all the times Google or one of its properties is mentioned in the movie. [More]

Google google google google google.

From The Shameless To The Egregious, We Grade The Product Placements In 12 Ad-Packed Movies

You’ve probably seen the 30-second TV ads promoting that new 2-hour commercial for Google starring those two actors from that other movie that people really liked eight years ago. We’d like to think product placement has sunk to a new low, but every time we’re convinced that advertisers have hit bottom, someone throws them a more powerful digging implement. [More]

McDonald's Sponsors Prime-Time TV Documentary About McDonald's

McDonald's Sponsors Prime-Time TV Documentary About McDonald's

If you were to flip open the pages of your TV Guide and see that there was a documentary called “McDonald’s Gets Grilled” airing in prime time, you might assume that it’s a bit of McMuckraking, or at least a news organization’s look behind the counter at the fast food giant. But as viewers of Australian TV found out this week, it’s really just a 30-minute infomercial paid for by McDonald’s. [More]

10 Examples Of Why You Shouldn't Sell Naming Rights To Just Anyone

10 Examples Of Why You Shouldn't Sell Naming Rights To Just Anyone

It’s near-impossible to find a sporting or concert venue in the U.S. without the name of some bank/oil company/car maker/beverage slapped on the front. While most of these are innocuous — and some have even grown to be accepted by the public — there are a handful of naming rights deals where the venue owners shouldn’t have gone with the highest bidder. [More]

Lawsuit Over Facebook "Sponsored" Updates Allowed To Proceed

Lawsuit Over Facebook "Sponsored" Updates Allowed To Proceed

It’s been almost a year since Facebook began taking your “like” list and turning it into advertising via so-called “sponsored stories,” and on Friday, a U.S. District Court judge in California rejected the social networking site’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit that claims Facebook unjustly enriched itself with these ads by violating a California law pertaining to commercial endorsements. [More]

Is In-Flight Advertising Getting Out Of Control?

Is In-Flight Advertising Getting Out Of Control?

Depending on the airline you choose, everything from the exterior of your jet to the overhead compartments to your tray table and the back of your seat to your airplane safety video can be sponsored by an advertiser. And considering the amount of revenue being generated by these ads, they probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. [More]

With $4.6B Spent, Procter & Gamble Remains The Country's Largest Advertiser

With $4.6B Spent, Procter & Gamble Remains The Country's Largest Advertiser

Procter & Gamble may only be #26 on the Fortune 500 this year, but that hasn’t stopped the company from once again outspending all other U.S. advertisers by nearly $2 billion. [More]

Mommy Bloggers Offered $10 To Write Nice Stories About Toyota

Mommy Bloggers Offered $10 To Write Nice Stories About Toyota

Looking around the internet, there is often a thin line between editorial content and advertising. It’s not surprising to go to an entertainment blog on a Friday to not only see that the page has been skinned with an ad for a new movie but also a gallery of that movie’s star or a fluff interview with someone in the film. But some mommy bloggers say they’re not willing to cross that line by accepting a $10 gift card in exchange for writing a positive story about Toyota. [More]

Disney Now Marketing To Newborns In The Delivery Room

Disney Now Marketing To Newborns In The Delivery Room

They say that first impressions are crucial and the folks at Disney are taking that very literally, having recently launched a campaign to begin marketing their products to brand new moms and to babies barely out of the womb. [More]