There is a “new” trend hitting the advertising world called native advertising. I put new in quotes because there is absolutely nothing new about it. A native advertisement is simply a text-based ad that supplies the advertiser with the ability to place relevant stories about their business or organization into publications of their choice. In my opinion it appears to be nothing new, but rather a resurgence of the widely debated advertorial idea.
I am not complaining about the change in language though. Advertorial became a buzz word that created a polar debate with people fighting passionately on both sides. Editorial purists were claiming editorial independence saying that no amount of disclaimers would make up for the infringement this advertisement represented. However, the media sales/advertiser side of the debate argued that it wasn’t any different than a regular advertisement. I think this argument is valid. Not only is this space the client has paid for; there are also already systems in place that differentiate sponsored content from editorial content. Until this new word came out, both sides were at a gridlock. Below is an example of a recent successful ad by Alberta encouraging people to live and work there:
This new term for the same product offers promise and movement beyond arguments about semantics. College newspapers left and right are adopting this new revenue-generating addition to their advertising options available. I have little knowledge of its success thus far but I’m looking forward to implementing it at The Temple News.