WSJ Makes ‘Faustian Pact’ with Native Advertising

Apparently there’s no resisting the allure of native advertising these days. The latest converts to ads in sheep’s clothing? USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.

The latter’s surrender is the more interesting of the two, given the low opinion of native ads previously expressed by the paper’s top editor.

From Michael Sebastian of Advertising Age:

The Wall Street Journal is introducing native advertising to its website less than six months after Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker described many publishers’ moves in the arena as a “Faustian pact.”

For those unfamiliar with German folklore, that’s a deal with the devil. 

Right. Here’s more on that deal from Chris O’Shea at MediaBistro’s FishbowlNY:

Sponsored content, native advertising, ads that are annoyingly similar to editorial content — whatever you want to call them, they’re coming to The Wall Street Journal.

wsj-300x212Welcome to the party.

The paper has announced that WSJ Custom Studios will create the ads labeled as “Sponsor Generated Content,” and they’ll be embedded among other editorial content. The first native ads, from Brocade, will debut tomorrow. Each ad will be created by staffers hired specifically for WSJ Custom Studios. No Journal staffer will be involved in the ads.

And – no surprise here – editor Baker’s estimation of native advertising is now decidedly more positive. FishbowlNY’s report includes this statement from Baker . . . 

Read the rest at Sneak Adtack.


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2 Responses to WSJ Makes ‘Faustian Pact’ with Native Advertising

  1. Yeah – imagine the WSJ doing a deal with the devil.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Actually, the WSJ was one of the last holdouts. The Times, the Washington Post – they were already turned.

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