How Native Advertising is Tricking You

Native advertising is crap
Native advertising is crap

I started my career as a journalist. Warren Rogers, my editor and a well-known Washington D.C reporter, created a literal wall between the Georgetown Courier’s editorial department and the advertising team… it was wooden and about 4 feet tall. He taught me the importance of not having editorial pander to the needs of advertising. No lofty reviews of restaurants that took full-page ads out in our newspaper.

Sure the newspaper folded in about 6 months. And sure I now work in advertising. I still have a pet peeve about “native advertising,” which is basically advertisements that masquerade as content. You’ve seen them:

  • An apparent news story on a website that’s actually an ad for some diet product
  • A section of a magazine that, on closer inspection, is actually “advertorial” content (sponsored)
  • A tweet or Facebook post that’s paid content even though it’s designed to look like a post from a friend

We need to know when a commercial interest is impacting our news or entertainment. And it’s not often obvious. I don’t like search-engine results that are ads pretending to be organic. I don’t like product placement without credit/transparency. And I don’t like hitting a news website expecting to read an article, but it’s a poorly veiled attempt to pitch some crap.

Ads can do their job even when we know they’re ads. But news and entertainment cannot do their jobs when we have to worry about whether they’re ads or not.

So I took some pleasure in John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) absolutely ripping “native advertising” a second asshole. Enjoy…

Nalts is Evil: ~!0v3:H@t3:sEx:N@!tS~

nalts is evilThis is a wonderfully creative and artistic video posted by a YouTuber named SquiggMonster. It’s called “~!0v3:H@t3:sEx:N@!tS~” and it’s a strange homage and assault of me in one 5-minute film. Song is “Tear You Apart,” by She Wants Revenge.

If you only watch a portion, check out the morph at 1:50.I don’t quite know why, but I am totally enchanted by it. Of course it features me transforming into Satan (and I’m not a big fan of his), but the images and song and classic ending make it so very interesting.

I’m trying to optimize this post to the phrase, “Nalts is evil” so I can find it whenever I need a little mood boost.