The hardtracking staff has been negligent in, well, tracking developments in stealth marketing over the past few weeks.

So, the missing links.

From Digiday:

The New Yorker Goes Native

In January, when the Atlantic ran sponsored content on behalf of Scientology, the media world went apoplectic. Last month, when the New Yorker began experimenting with sponsored content, no one made a peep. Times have changed.

Like many publishers before it — from the digital kids at Gawker and BuzzFeed to the more traditional types at the Atlantic to Forbes — the New Yorker has begun running content on behalf of brands. But unlike those who set the stage a year or so ago, there has been little fanfare around that fact that one of the most prestigious publications in print has gone native.


From Ad Age:

Publishers Enlisting Editorial Staffers On Behalf Of Advertisers

An Emerging Trend in Sponsored Content?

Many publishers embracing sponsored content defend the integrity of their ad/edit walls by creating in-house teams apart from their newsrooms to produce content on behalf of advertisers. But a handful of publishers — such as Mashable and Mental Floss — are allowing their editorial staffs to write stories and produce videos for advertisers, arguing that it affords a more authentic experience.


Also from Ad Age:

Now, Let’s Stop Calling These Ads ‘Native’

The Industry’s Favorite New Buzzword Has Lost Its Meaning

Mention “native advertising” to a media buyer these days, and he or she will ask what exactly you mean by it. Advertorials? Promoted Tweets? Search ads? Sponsored content?

The term has become industry shorthand for any ad product that isn’t a banner and looks like the content around it, or anything the Interactive Advertising Bureau hasn’t standardized. It’s the ad industry’s latest salespitch, and not without reason. Banner ads are broken, so marketers and ad-sellers alike have a good reason to at least attempt to move beyond them.


From Nieman Journalism Lab:

Gawker’s trying native advertising in its comments

Of course, Gawker would probably argue that “comments section” isn’t the right frame for thinking about its all-content-has-status platform Kinja.


One last time from Ad Age:

The Washington Post Starts Selling Native Ads for Print

Meant to Be More Timely and Engaging Than Traditional Advertorials

What’s old is new again at The Washington Post. The paper, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos agreed this month to buy, is pitching advertisers on “native” advertising to run in print.

The ad units on offer include one the Post calls an “agenda setter,” wrapped around a portion of the front page and featuring both display advertising and copy resembling editorial content. Another execution sits among true editorial content on the fold inside the paper.

The native ads in print, which will be marked “sponsor generated content,” extend the BrandConnect program that has let advertisers post edit-like stories online since March.


Given all that, it’s welcome news that the Federal Trade Commission is finally paying attention to these ads in sheep’s clothing.

From paidContent:

FTC to take closer look at “native advertising” trend

Over the last year, media and marketing types have been repeating the term “native advertising” until they’re blue in the face and now it looks like people are finally paying attention — including the good folks at the Federal Trade Commission.

On Monday, the FTC announced that it will hold a workshop on December 4 about native advertising and the “blurring of digital ads with digital content.” In the meantime, the public can offer its two cents by sending in thoughts and idea topics for the workshop.

So, yeah, weigh in.

But forewarned is forearmed:

This is the second time this year FTC has vowed to take a closer look at online ad practices. In May, the agency issued new disclosure obligations related to small screen ads and social media.

Seen many disclosures recently?

Us neither.


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.
John R. Carroll has 305 post(s) on Sneak Adtack