“Ads are baked into content like chocolate chips are baked into a cookie, except it’s more like raisins into a cookie because no one f*** wants them there.”
That’s John Oliver on the increasingly blurry lines between editorial content and advertising and growing corporate influence on the media. In the publishing world, the separation between church and state was sacrosanct. No longer. The boundaries are now so blurred that consumers don’t know which is which, with the marketing content masquerading and camouflaging as the real thing.
Meredith Levien, Times’ Executive Vice President of Advertising, says so-called “native advertising” is simply the “Publisher sharing storytelling techniques with marketer.”
“Exactly. It’s not trickery,” retorts Oliver. “It’s sharing storytelling tools. And that’s not bullshit, it’s repurposed bovine waste,” he says
Oliver has some great examples from leading newspapers that one would think would have found this path ethically dubious, including a New York Times article on prison inmates that was actually sponsored content advertising the TV series Orange is the New Black.