March 12, 2018
As the hardreading staff dolefully noted over the past few years, the Boston Globe’s editorial content has increasingly been playing footsie with marketing partners ranging from Suffolk University to Steward Health Care System to Rockland Trust to the Star Wars franchise.
Now comes Cross Insurance to “present” this page in yesterday’s Boston Sunday Globe Arts section.
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, the hardreading staff has seen no Cross Insurance tit-for-tad in the $tately local broadsheet. But there is this sponsored content produced by BG BrandLab, the Globe’s in-house shop for producing ads in sheep’s clothing.
Yes yes – we’re aware that a disclosure line sits atop the website, albeit as inconspicuously as possible.
And if you click on the Information doohickey, this drops down.
Raise your hand if you ever click on that doohickey. Yeah, us neither.
Regardless of the level of transparency, we’re just uneasy overall about attaching financial interests to editorial content.
Never the twain should meet, right?
Or are we just hopelessly out of date?
February 5, 2018
As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Herald has of late increased the amount of its “sponsored content” while decreasing the legibility of its disclosure.
Now the Boston Globe apparently wants to join the stealthy local tabloid in profiting from ads in sheep’s clothing, running this on A12 of today’s edition. (Here’s the digital version on the Globe website.)
(To be sure graf goes here)
To be sure, sharp-eyed observers will pick up that it’s actually an ad, but not everyone is as perceptive as you, splendid reader. For some, anything with a headline and a byline qualifies as editorial content. Which is exactly what stealth marketing counts on.
Regardless, we’re guessing that the revenue-impaired Globe and the bankrupt Herald will increasingly turn toward this sleight-of-ad as time goes on.
We hope, of course, to be proven wrong.
February 3, 2018
The sneaky local tabloid just keeps getting sneakier.
As the hardreading staff has noted on multiple occasions, the Boston Herald’s publication of stealth marketing (a.k.a. “sponsored content”) has steadily become more and more – ah – stealthy, as the labeling of same grows smaller and smaller.
(Pop quiz: Is that an oxymoron, or are we?)
For example, here’s how sponsored content for intimate apparel retailer Rigby & Peller was labeled in March of 2016.
Then there’s this advertorial for the Massachusetts State Lottery from a year ago.
And now comes this from yesterday’s edition of the stealthy local tabloid. (Inexplicable Little Green 1 at no extra charge.)
Do we detect a pattern emerging here?
All of those ads in sheep’s clothing originated in interviews on Boston Herald Radio, which has up to several listeners but which more importantly provides the Herald with a steady stream of stealth marketing opportunities.
Given the Local Dailies DisADvantage the thirsty local tabloid labors under, that just might be the best it can do.
June 1, 2017
Stop the presses! The Boston Herald has gone native again!
As the hardtsking staff has previously noted, the sneaky local tabloid has occasionally dabbled in native advertising in its print edition, but now the ads in sheep’s clothing seem to be appearing with greater frequency.
Last week there was this full-page marketing massage “presented by Primark.”
Today there’s this puffery, “presented by The Lawn on D powered by Citizens Bank” – a twofer.
Both writers – Brett Milano and Miriam Schwartz – appear to be freelancers, although a piece she wrote last year referred to her as “the Herald’s Miriam Schwartz.” (Both, interestingly, also share the link bostonherald.com/users – which sort of feels backward given what the stingy local tabloid pays for freelance work.)
Anyway, that’s not as egregious as using staff reporters to produce advertising content, but even so . . .
C’mon, Heraldniks – at least have to decency to get actual copywriters to produce this stuff.