Advertorials Preferred To Ads?

From “Brand Mentions Preferred over Ads” in eMarketer:

Compared with banner ads, pop-up ads, e-mail offers and sponsored links, articles that include brand information were most likely to lead US Internet users to read—and act.

In addition to making a product so compelling it demands coverage, this requires a more natural, PR-focused strategy of getting the word out. Or in some cases, tailoring ads so they look like articles.

I’m no champion of advertising, but at least ads are (usually) honest about their nature. And I am very much in favor of marketing campaigns that aim to earn “natural” name dropping in articles. But it seems eMarketing is either advocating a strategy of pushing advertorials, or neutrally reporting that the strategy is effective. Either way, I find it disturbing. I know we’re a long way from a utopia of transparency, but I thought we were past the infomercials-pretending-to-be-news stage.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

One reply on “Advertorials Preferred To Ads?”

Most ‘traditional’ publishers clearly mark paid/sponsored content (advertorials) vs. their own. What needs to be watched is the blurring of these ‘church and state’ lines. As publishers struggle with aging ad-supported biz models, and as some potentially less scrupulous social media outlets gain ground, demarcation could become less and less clear. As you point out regularly, transparency and authenticity MUST be the pillars of new (and evolving old) media. For those reasons, it’s nice to see violators get called out when they fail to abide. Notably Scoble and less notably the recent Netezza campaign (rectified after being called into question ).


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