Wall Street Journal Finally Catches Up with Sneak Adtack

From our Where You Been? desk

This distressing piece ran in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal Media & Marketing section (web headline: “Don’t Sleep on Content Marketing”).

‘Content Marketing’ Goes to the Next Level

Many companies have hired editorial staffers in recent years to write content for their blogs and be their voices on social media. Now, some are going further by building full-blown media properties of their own.

Take startup mattress brand Casper, for example. The company BN-IF138_casper_D_20150501181945is currently hiring journalists and gearing up to start its own standalone Web publication about sleep. The site doesn’t have a name or a URL yet, but it’s slated to launch later this spring.

“Sleep is a growing subject that lacks a true editorial authority,” said Lindsay Kaplan, Casper’s vice president of communications.

This type of “content marketing” is in vogue. Instead of “renting” audiences with paid advertising, companies are increasingly producing their own content in an effort to attract consumers’ attention themselves, with the ultimate goal of promoting their brands, products, interests and ideas.

Excellent reporting!

Except . . .

The hardtracking staff at Sneak Adtack (not to mention the Nieman Journalism Lab) was on this story like Brown on Williamson – let’s see – four weeks ago.

To wit:

Brand Content Lulling Consumers to Sleep

As the hardtracking staff has relentlessly noted, branded content/sponsored posts/native advertising are like kudzu – a serious invasive plant. Once it takes root, kudzu invariably overwhelms the environment it inhabits.

Exhibit Umpteen, via the Nieman Journalism Lab: A mattress company is starting an online publication devoted to sleep.

MediaBistro’s Help Wanted ad.



Got that, all you “workflow masters who live for the style guide but also protect the writer’s voice?” Your future lies at Casper, a mattress company that produces a bed that loves you back. (The company is also looking for a staff writer and a social media editor.)

The whole thing is the perfect metaphor for stealth marketing: It lulls you to sleep, then colors your dreams.

Of course, as long as you wake refreshed, you don’t really care, do you?

But maybe you should . . .

Read the rest here.

And – hey, Journalniks – maybe every once in a while you should read Sneak Adtack yourselves.

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4 Responses to Wall Street Journal Finally Catches Up with Sneak Adtack

  1. Samantha says:

    They are looking for someone to sell sleep? I’m in.

  2. Mike Barry says:

    Lying with the enemy?

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