If you can take your eyes away from the dreamy visage of Shervin Pishevar for a second, you'll notice that little black box on the right hand side touting content paid for by Fidelity without disclosing that it's actually an ad.

Forbes Now Including Advertiser-Created Content On Front Cover Of Magazine

If you thought the demon who goes by many names — native advertising, advertorials, sponsored stories, promoted content, utter bullsh*t — was something that was relegated to the Internet, then go check out the new issue of Forbes, which not only comes complete with some of this bought-and-paid-for crap, but which actually lists it on the front cover of the magazine like it’s just another story. [More]

Conde Nast Proudly Using Editors To Write Sponsored Content For Advertisers

Conde Nast Proudly Using Editors To Write Sponsored Content For Advertisers

For quite some time, we’ve been telling you about a particularly pernicious evil that goes by various names — advertorial content, native advertising, brand reporting, branded content, sponsored stories, pure crap — that a growing number of websites have tried to slip past their readers as actual editorial content. The most ethical sites take measures to call these stories out as being bought and paid for, and many sites refuse to taint their editorial process by allowing their staffers to work on this nonsense. But Conde Nast has decided that the best way to use its highly qualified and talented staff is to have them writing shill content for advertisers. [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]

Examples of what Google's  "Shared Endorsements" look like.

Google Gives Itself The Right To Make Money Off Users’ Names & Photos

If you’re a Google user, be prepared to possibly have your name, photos, and any comments you might have made using that account used in ads that Google will make money from. The company quietly announced a change to its Terms of Service this morning, giving itself the ability to exploits user profiles in “Shared Endorsements.” [More]

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Facebook’s Policy Changes Will Mean Your Content Can Be Used In Ads If You Use Facebook

Facebook has learned its lesson about not explaining what content it will use in ads, after that whole Sponsored Stories legal saga that finally concluded recently, but that doesn’t mean the social media company doesn’t still want to use your pretty mug to market products and services to your pals. It’s just explaining ahead of time that it’ll happen, and if you want to use the site at all you’ll have to be cool with that . Oh, and you won’t be compensated. Facebook is free, after all. [More]

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Facebook Finally Ditching Those “Sponsored Stories” We All Love So Very Much

Remember all that brouhaha over Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories,” the ads that are supposed to be cleverly disguised as simple recommendations from friends? We kind of can’t believe it’s taken this long for Facebook to realize that users are onto their little ruse, but the social network announced yesterday that it’s ditching the ads in favor of a brand new approach toward advertising. [More]

Judge In Facebook Settlement Doesn't Understand Why Users Shouldn't Get Some Money

Judge In Facebook Settlement Doesn't Understand Why Users Shouldn't Get Some Money

A U.S. District judge tasked with bestowing final approval on the legal settlement between Facebook and its users over the “Sponsored Stories” ads is crunching the numbers in the case and he’s just a bit befuddled. Both Facebook and the plaintiffs floated a $123 million amount as the value of the settlement, but then somehow the company is only going to hand over $20 million in legal fees and donations to charity. [More]