Don’t Like Native Advertising? Start Paying for News.

633408166_51157f74acLately, there’s been a lot of discussion about one of the newest advertising tactics in the journalism world: native advertising.

You might have seen it yourself, if you’ve felt the need to click one of BuzzFeed’s “10 Reasons Why You Should…” list articles.

You’ll have a series of copyright-infringing GIFs, generally stolen in some capacity from other websites, and, at the top of the article, you’ll see that it’s sponsored by Jack Daniels. Or JetBlue. Or whatever.

The idea is that people reading the article will start thinking BuzzFeed isn’t the only company that can put together some fun GIFs to help people avoid reading anything meaningful. That association will, in turn, benefit the brand.

The BuzzFeed / brand relationship is a dubious one at best, but investors are convinced – that’s part of the reason that BuzzFeed just got another $50 million in funding. The real issue for people, though, is that other publications – like The New York Times – are publishing “native advertising” content, too.

This is turning out to be a huge revenue generator for news publications and a great way to build brand awareness for the company. But when branded content starts flowering in every crevice of a news outlet’s website, it becomes more difficult to decide which is good to eat and which is a poisonous, subjective berry.

Continue reading “Don’t Like Native Advertising? Start Paying for News.”

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Assassins Among the Bookshelves: “Showrooming” is Deadly

showroombookstoreIf you ask a local business about “showrooming,” they’ll either scowl or, more likely, look befuddled. The practice is booming among consumers, though, and any business owner has probably seen it: a customer walks into the store, browses the shelves, and then whips out her smartphone.

A few minutes later, she’s gone. Where’d she go? Well, she already ordered the item she saw in the store at a discount. On the Internet. Not from your store.

About half of consumers are using showrooming while they’re purchasing. The jury’s out on whether it’s really bad for retail or not-so-bad-but-probably-not-good.

However, one type of retail is suffering more than others: bookstores.

Continue reading “Assassins Among the Bookshelves: “Showrooming” is Deadly”