native advertising

Jason Cook

Study: Students “Easily Duped” By Fake News, Sponsored Content

You might assume that a child raised on online content may be better positioned to tell when news and information is coming from legitimate sources and when that source is a fake or an ad. However, the results of a new study appear to indicate that this always-connected generation is no better equipped to sort fact from fiction online. [More]

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Being a “social media influencer” must be a pretty sweet deal: People send you free stuff, and pay you money just in the hopes that you’ll say nice things about their products. Problem is, those companies can get into trouble if the influencers don’t properly reveal that they were paid for their commentary. [More]

Lord & Taylor Gets Slap On Wrist For Paying Instagram “Influencers” To Run Secret Ads

Lord & Taylor Gets Slap On Wrist For Paying Instagram “Influencers” To Run Secret Ads

If you’re getting paid to chat up a product or brand on social media, you need to disclose your relationship with what you’re shilling. That’s why retailer Lord & Taylor ended up in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission after paying high-profile Instagram accounts to secretly market their clothing without revealing that these were just ads. [More]

Schefter's Tweet should have been flagged as an ad for Domino's, but someone goofed and failed to mention this sponsorship.

ESPN Admits: Tweets By Adam Schefter & Chris Mortensen Were Unmarked Ads For Domino’s

Plenty of famous people post Tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram photos where they mention a product or company name that they truly enjoy. But if those celebs are getting paid to slap their name on these messages, they need to be transparent about it. A pair of sportscasters at ESPN apparently missed that memo when they recently name-dropped Domino’s Pizza on Twitter. [More]

Full Disclosure: Neither Butterfinger nor Simon & Garfunkel paid to be advertised in this story. (photo: Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

Feds Clarify When & How Advertisers Need To Reveal They Paid For Sponsored Stories

If you’re reading a website about business travel and you read an interesting news story about saving money on hotels, does it matter to you if that “article” was paid for by an advertiser? If so, how should that sponsorship be communicated to the reader? [More]

Prime Number

With Ad-Blockers Coming To iPhone, Ad Industry Poised For A Fight

According to one estimate, some $22 billion in online ad revenue was lost last year because so many people use ad-blocking plugins on their web browsers. And that number is set to soar with an upcoming tweak to Apple iOS that will allow ad-blocking on the iPhone and iPad’s Safari browser. The ad industry is looking at a number of ways to stem this tide, including the legal route. [More]

Comcast's Universal Studios park is the backdrop for Jerry Springer and other Comcast-tied celebs to cash in on what remains of the Sharknado craze.

Comcast Should Pay You For Sitting Through All Its Product Placement In Sharknado 3

If you’re one of the 1,743 people who are still amused by the whole Sharknado phenomenon, then you should consider yourself warned that the latest entry into the self-consciously trashy TV franchise is apparently not much more than an extended commercial for numerous Comcast-owned brands. [More]

Thanks Lenovo! Without your sponsorship the world might not have this story on the "rise of the social supermodel."

Why Do Websites Refuse To Label Sponsored Content As “Advertising”?

Looking back at our breakdowns of so-called “native advertising,” the ad-world terminology for an advertisement made to look like a news story, you may have noticed that these execrable, nauseating (but profitable) ads were labeled things like “Sponsored by…,” or “Promoted,” or the blatantly vague “From our partners,” but none of them simply said “advertisement.” And the people who make money off this insidious nonsense say there’s a good reason. [More]

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]

Expect A Lot More “Promoted Pin” Ads On Pinterest In 2015

Expect A Lot More “Promoted Pin” Ads On Pinterest In 2015

Pinterest isn’t just about sharing wedding decoration ideas and food photos. It’s also a way for advertisers to push their “Promoted Pin” ads on users, and apparently it’s been successful at doing that, as Pinterest is promising to roll out this advertising option to everyone in the coming year. [More]

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.

Expect To See More Ads Pretending To Be Editorial Content

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]

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.

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

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]

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

This Sleazy Pitch Embodies The Worst Side Of Online Advertising

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]