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Publishers: Don’t Make Your Editors Write Advertorial

Women's Wear Daily
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One of the things I learned early on writing for Voxilla was that editorial and advertising shouldn’t mix. Not at all. Of course, it helped that Voxilla founder Marcelo Rodriguez is a guy who spent many years working for newspapers as a proper journalist.

Meanwhile, the folks at Gawker are reporting a breach of the editorial/advertising wall:

[We] hear that the staff of the [Conde Nast-owned] WWD is currently embroiled in a mini-revolt, after they were ordered to write the copy for the 48-page Fashion Rocks supplement that went out with yesterday’s issue. There’s no reason an editorial staff should ever be made to write advertorial copy. The most egregious line-crossing of all: a full-page interview in the supplement with Richard Beckman, Conde Nast‘s own head of marketing.

Given my own personal experience, I can understand. In one of my last blogging gigs, I was asked to essentially to write advertorial content–so-called sponsored posts. I felt creepy doing it, but did it a couple of times anyway. I eventually lashed out on this blog decrying the practice. When they found out about the post, they weren’t happy. I eventually pulled the post in question and we parted ways in the process.

If we wanted to write ads, we would have went into the advertising business, not the content business. I realize that the lines between advertising and editorial are starting to get blurry. Let’s not cloud the issue further. Advertising and editorial need to remain separate things–preferably done by separate people.

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