John Oliver had a few thoughts to share on native advertising on Sunday for his HBO show “Last Week Tonight.”
Spoiler alert: he’s not a fan.
Native advertising, content that is seamlessly integrated into a publisher’s site to look and feel like normal editorial content, has been a hot topic as big names including The New York Times (and Business Insider, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, and others) have embraced these types of ads. Oliver says The New York Times ad is about as good as it gets when it comes to native because it’s original reporting and it’s marked as a “paid post.”
He has a problem with this though. Oliver quotes an IAB study which reported that less than half of readers could tell the difference between what was editorial content and what was native. But as he says, it’s supposed to blend in. That’s the nature of native in the news.
“Ads are baked into content, like chocolate chips baked into a cookie. Except it’s actually more like raisins into a cookie…,” he says, because who really wants raisins in their cookie?
He also argues that native is completely doing away with the division between “church and state,” or the separation of editorial and business.
Here’s the full clip:
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