The constant push for having paid advertising on different magazines is inevitable. People that do editorial and traditional journalism need to make money off of what they write. Advertisers take advantage of the viewership from the news outlets and in return pay the news outlet. Overall it brings business to both sides.Now the challenge is to do it in a way that doesn't make the ad seem like it's being promoted only because the client is paying for it to be show.
For example, you're reading a magazine. You see an article talking about a new skin care line called Miracle. You have been experiencing heavy breakouts during this semester due to stress. The article talks about how much it has worked for people and how good it is. You think to yourself "I'm currently not using skincare products to treat my breakouts, lets try it out!" Next thing you know, to your disbelief you use Miracle and it's not what they made it out to be. You continue to use it and it doesn't work. You even go online and see that they have horrible reviews from other people on forums. Now you are angry that you trusted a magazine that you have been reading for years and are dissatisfied with the product they were promoting and writing about. You had no clue it was a paid advertisement or "native advertisement".
Native advertising is...."a purposefully vague way of saying that online ads will look more and more like articles, making it harder for readers to tell the difference. -Source(beta.latimes.com)
It is good that there our set guidelines now thanks to the ASME, so you know what is sponsored content in in editorial work, instead of them trying to blend paid content into their content make audience members not know any better. The ASME an organization that monitors native advertising and makes guidelines for magazines to follow. If not followed they cannot be considered for the society's national magazine award.
Alternatives are to get FTC involved, which we could possibly see in the future if this continues and becomes a major issue. One company that is doing a good job by clearly identifying what isn't the news outlet's content is Forbes. Other magazines are still using the same fonts and graphics making editorial content clash with native ads making it not separate.
This is a big problem with sponsored content. This problem has even reached youtube. Different brands will reach out to famous youtubers, give them products that don't really work as well as they claim. Hundreds of thousands fans that are subscribed will rush to buy the product. This is hard to keep the trust of the youtuber because they want to be sponsored and paid by the company. One of the biggest guidelines they should follow is "Disclosure-when you promote branded content, you need to clearly label it as such..." -Source (apps.prsa.org)
The youtuber named Graveyard Girl in her series "Does this really work?" addresses that the products she shows are not paid for by a sponsor in her description of the video, but not vocally in the video. This is a good way for people to differentiate the two of paid sponsorship and that of the free will of the content creator, but not that explicitly. Honest youtubers will explicitly say when they are testing out a product that they were sponsored to show it and received the products for free on the behalf of the company , which is a good start