Content As Advertising

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So, are you sick of the term Native Advertising?

Back in February 2013, I penned an article for Harvard Business Review titled, We Need a Better Definition of "Native Advertising". In short, it felt like native advertising is just simply sponsored content. That’s it. Whether the editorial team on the specific website wrote the piece or not, the pretense is that it’s native advertising because the content looks like their regular content, only it’s not… it has been paid for… like an ad. Confused? Imagine how the general public must feel. Well, John Oliver took a tremendously powerful stab at the idea of native advertising on his show, Last Week Tonight, a few days ago. I realize that many of you may have already seen this (apologies if you have.. and if that’s the case, why not hop over here and check out Charlie Rose interviewing LinkedIn‘s co-founder, Reid Hoffman), but for every laugh in this segment, there are some hard truths that marketers, media agencies and publishers will have to face in the coming months and years. Dropping the barrier that existed between the editorial content and the paid advertising has long been an issue of credibility for media. Pretending that it’s no longer even an important value to have could be extremely dangerous. So, yes, while native advertising may – in the short term – be good for brands and business, it may – in the long run – be a very slippery and dangerous slope.

In the meantime…