At Forbes, Advertiser-Owned Blogs Are The New Sponsored Posts

lewis dvorkinLewis D’Vorkin.

In the lead up to the relaunch of Forbes’ magazine and website, chief product officer Lewis D’Vorkin has said things like: “On the web, you can take marketing content and consumer content and put it contextually within a website.“Now we know what he was talking about:, which is in the process of rolling out lots of new blogs — much like D’Vorkin’s former startup, True/Slant — is going to start selling some of those blogs to advertisers.

Michael Learmonth of AdAge reports:

The pitch is this: We’ll sell you a blog, and your content will live alongside that of Forbes’ journalists and bloggers. This isn’t the “sponsored post” of yore; rather, it is giving advocacy groups or corporations such as Ford or Pfizer the same voice and same distribution tools as Forbes staffers, not to mention the Forbes brand.

“In this case the marketer or advertiser is part of the Forbes environment, the news environment,” Mr. DVorkin said…

The product itself is called AdVoice, and the notion is that in a world of social media, corporations have to become participants and, in a sense, their own media companies. Corporations these days also have to face the practical problem of fewer business reporters left to pitch.

Two questions: How obvious will it be that these blogs are not the editorial products of Forbes writers (they’ll be presented “in a very transparent and clearly labelled manner,” says CRO Kevin Gentzel); and how will said writers feel about their content being given the same weight as advertisers’ content?

There’s been a lot of change all at once for Forbes’ staffers, who are still getting used to the various editorial models D’Vorkin is imprinting. We’d imagine this is one about which they must be fairly sceptical.

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