It’s Advertorial, BFD

American Society of Magazine Editors doesn’t like Forbes’ new
sponsored blogs. Not that that’s a problem for anyone outside that esteemed organization.
“Advertiser-supplied content, whether in print or online, should not look like editorial content,” said society CEO Sid Holt. “This is a bedrock principle, clearly stated in the ASME Guidelines for Editors and Publishers. If the SAP page is a paid ad,” he added, “it violates that principle.”
Regardless, brands want to reach prospects and customers and hold their attention. What a society of magazine editors think about it never enters the equation. Maybe magazine editors care, but magazine editors are also in business. Or they’re not.
From my perspective, brands need to use what they have–namely money–to assure that their content is as good as it can be. In days of old, you might see a print advertorial and brush it aside, given its shoddy layout and clunky copy. But there’s no rule that says brand-sponsored editorial has to suck. Make sure it doesn’t suck and chances are good that people will care.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.