Advertorials Preferred To Ads?

April 21, 2009
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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.

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.

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