Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Media Credibility Crisis in Waiting

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Media Credibility Crisis in Waiting

Article excerpt

UK media giant the BBC, a perceived bastion of editorial independence, this year moved to expand BBC Worldwide activities into blended advertising-editorial client solutions. It's a sign the emerging practice now referred to as native advertising is becoming mainstream.

Use of embedded approaches in advertising and promotion have been growing for several years and their forerunners--product placement and advertorial--have been around since the early 20th century.

In case you have missed the emerging debate, advertisers and marketers are turning to new approaches to combat the effects of declining reach and impact of traditional advertising. Persuasion knowledge research shows when consumers view content as intentional commercial or political persuasion, they are less likely to be persuaded.

New advertising approaches go by many names including native advertising, branded content, brand integration, and brand placement. What these techniques have in common is that paid advertising and promotional messages are embedded in media content so as to be at least partially hidden and sometimes invisible to media consumers. Along with renewed interest in advertorial, other embedded content creeping into our daily media diet includes paid online posts, comments and reviews; digital publications that are presented to appear as independent media, but are sponsored; and sponsored content on social media.

In the U.S., Forbes magazine, The Atlantic and The Washington Post have launched native advertising-cum-advertorial products. Forbes launched BrandVoice in 2011, and Atlantic Media followed suit with products such as its Ideas Lab, a custom-built digital publication described as "an interactive platform around the most critical issues impacting America's economic future," which is fully sponsored by GE.

In Australia, Fairfax Media launched Brand Discover late last year and News Corporation has been publishing and broadcasting various forms of embedded advertising content for some time.

Media revenue from various forms of embedded advertising and promotion was estimated at $8.25 billion worldwide in 2012 and is forecast to double by 2016, indicating that these emerging formats are substantial and growing. …

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