What FLX Says

Native advertising: At least selling your literary soul pays well

Advertorial used to have a slimy connotation. It read like advertising, it smelled like advertising. But it otherwise masqueraded as news. Unless you got out your magnifying glass and inspected the "advertising" tagline, hiding at the bottom or running vertically down the side of the page, you might be confused -- at least that is what advertisers and publishers hoped.

Proud publications -- such as The New York Times -- ran advertorial, but they hired outsiders (pens for hire like me and several other Freelance Success subscribers) to write it. And just to make sure we didn't taint the news pages, the Times enforced a rule that said advertorial writers couldn't be news-side reporters.

In this day of dog-eat-dog media competition any aversion to advertiser-paid promotional news content appears to have totally faded. There is no shame -- even in the most hallowed halls of the industry -- in publishing almost anything that makes money. But advertorial does have a new, classier name. Today, it's called "native advertising." I've heard people argue that there is a difference between advertorial and native advertising. One person said native advertising has "higher editorial standards." Is that anything like "a little bit pregnant?"

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Home Away from Home
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