Sponsored Content Watch

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A reader writes:

Huff post currently has a sponsored post about PRO-natural gas. They are always posting anti-natural gas stuff on the website, and that’s clearly where they stand. But they still accepted sponsorship for something that goes against their supposed values.

Maybe that’s a brilliant new ad strategy: take a position, unnerve your opponents, and then get them to pay you to run their views in a form that looks almost exactly the same as regular editorial copy. The only flaw in this strategy is running your own position in the first place without getting money for it. Maybe the next phase of sponsored content will go to the next level: websites entertaining bids for paid “articles” for any point of view whatsoever. Then you can let the editorial staff go. The business side can always manage the pro and con paid pieces … and would anyone notice anyway?