Every day there are ethical decisions that impact the hundreds or thousands of people who watch, read, listen, and/or click on a media source. The foundation for making the right decision starts with ethics classes in college. Students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism will use this blog to reflect on ethical questions in the media today.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Native Advertisement: Unethical Sponsorship
Native Advertising Earns the Role of the Trickster
Native Advertising seems to be a disguise in itself, as if you're like me, you haven't heard of the phrase until digging deeper into uncovering it. So, what is Native Advertising? Native Advertising is an advertisement that is designed to blend so well into content, that the reader can not even notice the difference between content and advertisements. Native Advertising is typically prominent within online based articles; however, it can appear anywhere within media. Such as; television, video entertainment, radio, etc.
Is Native Advertising Ethical?
Tricking readers/viewers into believing they are looking at content, yet placing an advertisement with the same design as their content, without their consent, doesn't seem fair. Does it? The truth is, Native Advertising is unethical or pushes the lines of ethical standards. Marketing needs within publications have become just as important as the publication itself. In fact, hidden ads jeopardize Editorial Advertising within journalism, where a product is written and described in immense detail. But, Native Advertising seems to take the stand of most popular compared to Editorial, as it covers more media platforms and target audience.
I'm sure by now everyone is aware of how advertisements surround our consumed content, or within Native Advertisements, maybe not so much. Youtube, however, seems to be adding even more to their typical Native Advertisements. Instead of just running advertisements before content, they are now adding advertisements in the middle of longer videos on their site. Even your favorite Youtubers have endorsed Native Advertisements where they show video of an app or logo and use that time as a "commercial" for the product. Though sometimes it is disclosed within their descriptions, other times, it is just viewed as part of their video. But, it definitely seems to be easier to fall into the trap of Native Advertising within online based articles.
Native Advertising: More Effective in Online Based Writing?
Though the Native Advertisement shown above seems to be more noticeable, many are seamlessly hidden behind fonts, design, and platform formatting. With Native Advertising being so prominent within online based content, it's hard for the reader to know the difference between entertainment and sponsorship, which creates a lack of trust. PR Professionals, as well as editorial companies, seem to be dancing around the issue of crossing the line within ethics of branded content. Being an ethical challenge, why are editorial companies and PR representatives still pushing for this content? The simple answer? They are getting away with it. However, this can be an issue because this fine line can be crossed when readers start noticing their tactics of advertisement and get fed up with the push of product within their content.
Always Keep an Eye Open
Being viewers within media platforms today, we have heard the term of fake news more than a few times. It is sad to say, but we must monitor our content. As checking content for correct information, the same guidelines must be met for advertisements spread via online media bases.