Expect To See More Ads Pretending To Be Editorial Content

This lovely story -- which grossly overestimates my affection for kale -- is currently sitting at the top of the Buzzfeed homepage. Expect to me 34% more of this kind of crap in the coming year... You were warned.

At the same time as Google is looking to give some sites a way to make money by not running ads, advertisers are ramping up their spending on ads that look like editorial content and can’t be avoided with any ad-blocking plugin. [More]

If Facebook Is Going To Label Satirical Stories, It Should Be Calling Out Ads Posing As News Links

I'm mostly doing this story so I can repeatedly share my Facebook profile photo of an 18-year-old me with a glorious head of 1993 hair.

Facebook began labeling certain shared links as “satire,” as a bit of hand-holding for its less-savvy users who can’t tell the difference between an actual news headline and one written by the writers of The Onion. But what Facebook really needs to do is start labeling so-called “native” or sponsored stories on non-satire sites so that your idiot friends might think twice before sharing a story that is really just an ad for some juice company. [More]

This Sleazy Pitch Embodies The Worst Side Of Online Advertising

Click image to read the full e-mail from the marketing company.

Every day, our inboxes are slammed with laughably bad PR pitches that range from the unrelated — “tell your readers to check out our booth at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival” — to the hyperbolic — “this tip-figuring calculator app will literally change the way you dine out!” We don’t share these with you because, well… they’re just awful. But we recently received one that was both insidious and all-too-indicative of the ways in which marketers dangle money in front of blogs in order to get them to deliver on-message content. [More]

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

Feds: ADT Paid “Independent” Experts To Shill For Pulse Security System

When you see a so-called expert on the Today Show talking up a product, you might reasonably assume that this expert is giving you an honest opinion that hasn’t been tainted by cash or gifts. Alas, not every company is up front about the fact that they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their product mentioned on TV by not-exactly-independent experts. [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]