Saturday, February 23, 2013

Innovation in Advertising or Danger to Journalism?

As traditional advertising becomes less and less popular (for whatever reason), media organizations are experimenting with other forms of revenue generation, such as "sponsored content."

Sponsored content, such as this one for the upcoming Playstation 4, looks very similar to the usual editorial content. It is often labeled as sponsored content - this one says the story of from Sony Entertainment Network, a BuzzFeed Partner.

Is there a problem with advertisements looking like editorial content?

Or is this a brilliant new way for media organizations to raise cash?


Afnan B, said...

The problem with having advertizements looking like editorials is there's a danger of not knowing which piece is objective and which is just an ad. In this case, with a new video game console, if someone were trying to find a true editorial that also mentions faults with the system, but they came across the "advertorial", they may never know and would not have the chance to see the product objectively. Having ads that look like articles may also make people even less trusting of the media than before, because if you can't even trust what's an ad and what's not, why should you trust anything the media writes?

Charles RIes said...

The problem with this form of advertising is that readers will invariably mistake it for an editorial (which, although not objective, is still supposed to have journalistic obligation to the truth and the citizens). Of course, it will somewhere say that the piece is in fact an advertisment, but many readers will not see that. Most people do not read newspapers very carefully. Journalists write in the inverted pyramid format because it is more or less taken for granted that most readers will merely skim the first few paragraphs. These readers are very likely to mistake the ad for a piece of journalism.

John Lolley said...

I personally don't see a problem with having advertisements looking like editorial because it give the consumers positive and negative feedback about the product before they purchase it. It's important for a consumer to know about the product to show them if the product is a dud, meaning it's worth your money. Also, it's important to know everything about a product to make sure the product is right for the consumer. When I'm shopping for products, II always look at the reviews in order of making the determining factoring of buying it or not

Erica Adeleye said...

There is not a problem with advertising looking like editorial content. If journalism is evolving, it is natural for advertising to do the same.