“Re-Purposed Bovine Waste”

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 4 2014 @ 11:19am

John Oliver – peace be upon him – lays waste to the corruption and bullshit that is native advertising:

The piece is well worth watching in full when you get a second. And it says something that it takes a comedy show on a subscription based cable channel to lay it out. (Note to those of you who have not yet subscribed to the Dish: subscriptions are the only way the media is going to dig out of this giant, gaping, ethical hole.) Oliver targets the pimps and whores at Time Inc. with particular verve, and, as a cheery on top of the cake, Women’s Wear Daily has a hilarious gaffe today by Norman Pearlstine who has capped his illustrious career in journalism by burning down the entire house. In a Q&A, Pearlstine was bragging about a new “native advertising” lab, headed by a respected journalist:

N.P.: The Time Inc. Content Solutions model is one to follow in that it’s got some very experienced journalists working on those products but they don’t engage in magazines on editorial where they’d be covering the people that they are writing about.

WWD: So, journalists for the publications are working on native content?

N.P.: Chris is really the exception to that. He happens to be the creative director at Sports Illustrated, a magazine that doesn’t cover the people whom we’re working on. He’s a brilliant creative director with a wonderful commercial mind. The place we’ll have to be careful is if there are packages that he’s working on would somehow involve Sports Illustrated. He’s going to have to recuse himself from doing anything at the magazine itself that would raise conflict. It’s my job to ensure that it doesn’t happen.

WWD: Is native changing the culture of journalism?

I think we know the answer to that.