Does the definition of Native Content mean not being sure if it’s paid media?

Lorca coffee shop - Himes and MartinMy local paper The Norwalk Hour is a small circulation daily newspaper that has an improving if not lightly-used website.   The Hour prints a paper each and every day.   It’s a light and quick read and I normally do not read it for anything other than local stories that I would not find elsewhere.   The printed version is still far superior to the digital version.

As I leafed through the Sunday paper I noticed the following article:

Himes, Martin pay visit to Stamford coffee shop

The article bylined by Matt Kiernan highlighted the recent visit by Connecticut congressman Jim Himes and Stamford mayor David Martin, to local coffee shop LORCA owned by Leyla Dam.  The story was positioned as ‘news’ and not designated as any kind of advertisement or paid media.   Which makes me want to nominate Ms. Leyla Dam for an award since somehow she was able to get a full page seemingly editorial story all about her restaurant complete with a listing of the address, website, hours and phone number of the restaurant.

Several questions came to my mind.  Did Ms. Dam pay for this article?   Why would The Hour run an article like this in the first place?   Is it to be part of a series of articles featuring local businesses?   (If so that’s a great idea since that’s what local papers should be about).   Why would this place be chosen and not the place across the street or around the corner?  Would their stories be less interesting?

Native advertising is putting contextually relevant stories within the framework of the surrounding content.   It works best when it feels like part of the fabric since there would be interest in those relevant stories.   The problem with the above story in the Hour is that in no way is it portrayed as being anything other than straight editorial content – which it is decidedly not.

I don’t have a problem with advertising content being spread around editorial content but when bylined by a staff writer as if it is a ‘news’ story it strikes me as being duplicitous.   But that’s me.

What do you think?  Is this an acceptable practice or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

The article bylined by Matt Kieren highlighted the recent visit to local coffee shop LORCA owned by Leyla Dam. The story was positioned as ‘news’ and not designated as any kind of advertisement or paid media.  Which makes me want to nominate Ms. Leyla Dam for an award since somehow she was able to get a full page seemingly editorial story all about her restaurant complete with a listing of the address, website, hours and phone number of the restaurant.

Several questions came to my mind. Did Ms. Dam pay for this article?   Why would The Hour run an article like this in the first place?   Is it to be part of a series of articles featuring local businesses?   (If so that’s a great idea since that’s what local papers should be about).   Why would this place be chosen and not the place across the street or around the corner?  Would their stories be less interesting?

Native advertising is putting contextually relevant stories within the framework of the surrounding content.   It works best when it feels like part of the fabric since there would be interest in those relevant stories.   The problem with the above story in the Hour is that in no way is it portrayed as being anything other than straight editorial content – which it is decidedly not.

I don’t have a problem with advertising content being spread around editorial content but when bylined by a staff writer as if it is a ‘news’ story it strikes me as being duplicitous.   But that’s me.

What do you think? Is this an acceptable practice or a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

About markkolier

Futurist, entrepreneur, left lane driver
This entry was posted in Advertising, Advertising to Millenials, Best business practices, Native advertising, Newspapers and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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