Native Advertising Blurs the Line Between Marketing and News

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John Oliver of HBO’s Last Week Tonight takes to humor to show the flaws of native advertising in the publishing and marketing industry.  He begins poking fun at news in the 1950’s where advertising was clear and in your face and brings to light the realization that most Americans can no longer decipher the difference between real news and branded content.

It is generally agreed upon that there should be a clearly defined line between the editorial and business sides of the news, but this wall is becoming more blurry.

Native Advertising is essentially a piece of normal content that is stamped and branded with small disclaimers or announcements that are clear endorsements.  In short, it is advertising in disguise.

Oliver basically spends the eleven minute segment insulting American intelligence with humor, but hes not quite off base. In a recent IAB study, less than half of Americans could distinguish the difference between news and brand content.

Trust is a publisher’s most valuable asset and with the rise of native advertising, this may be in jeopardy.  This challenge may be something the industry cannot overcome.

To watch Oliver’s entire hilarious segment, click here.

Sara is one of our Content and Community Associates at [L]earned Media. Sara is a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with dual degrees in Integrative Arts and Advertising. She comes to [L]earned Media with both design and advertising experience and to pursue interests in the social, web-based relationships that brands and consumers share.

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