We’ve already called for a VP/Optometry for the new print publications that brands are producing to replace mainstream media as advertising vehicles.

Now come more ways to dress up marketing as editorial – or “edvertorial” as WWD has it:

Social Media Breeds Edvertorial

Bold color may have been the new black on spring runways, but when it comes to the influx of designers creating branded content on the Web, editorial is the new advertising.

“We’re publishing content in an authentic way, and if it’s increasing our brand awareness, then it could be defined as advertising. It’s a new way of communicating with consumers,” Miki Berardelli, chief marketing officer at Tory Burch, said of the changing definition of advertising. “It’s taking an editorial approach to telling your brand story, and the social-media space just lends itself so beautifully to that combination.”

“Changing definition,” of course, is a euphemism for disguising your advertising as something it’s not, namely editorial. As the WWD piece notes:

The more fashion firms and retailers push into “editorial,” the greater the debate gets over that age-old dilemma: what is the line between editorial, advertising and advertorial?

What is the line, or what should be the line? They get further apart all the time.

Here’s something else to debate: Do people even care anymore?

From what I can tell, not much.

John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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