John Oliver on Native Advertising

John Oliver has created the best introduction to native advertising I have found. Not only does he explain the hidden nature of this new advertising form, he explains the long-term implications of hidden commercials on legitimate news. It is particularly disturbing to see seasoned newsmen talk about readers as “consumers” and suggesting that there never was a separation between church and state (editorial and advertising).


Advertising has long been the fuel behind the American media system. Whether it is commercials on TV or radio, print ads in magazines and newspapers, or banner ads and pop-ups online. The difference not, however, is that advertising revenue is increasingly moving online. At the same tie, no one reads banner ads (called “banner blindness”) and we all hate pop-ups. The way to get us to interact with advertising is to hide it so we don’t know we are reading an article or watching a video with a sponsor behind it. Think about it: when was the last time you watched a 3-minute video only to realize you’ve been watching a commercial. I know I have.

I will use this blog to alert you to the many forms these ads take. Stay turned!