The Bright Future of an Adblocked World
paul berry

This is a typical apex-bias approach to the problem. Yes, Coca Cola can entertain. So can every company on the Fortune 500 with a decent budget and a talented creative-agency. But asking a mundane product manufacturer or a local service to “be entertaining” harkens back to the days of “Web 1.0” where every company was putting Flash games on their website and pretending to be Disney. (It didn’t work).

But there’s a bigger and more fundamental flaw to this logic:

Paul’s proposal to “make advertising a thing of the past” is of course, not really anything of the sort. It is a proposal to integrate content and advertising. Once called “Advertorial” and now re-branded “Native ads”, this otherwise-excuse for plunging standards of journalistic integrity is sure to annoy readers as much (or more) than traditional advertising.

How are native ads in any way less annoying than ads?

How is a web filled with badly written faux-content (yes, let’s be honest about how this strategy plays out in scale) more palatable than a web filled with banner-ads? Is the annoyance of a 720x90 image above your article actually worse than reading for 3 minutes and discovering you’ve “been had” by a cleverly crafted advertisement masquerading as content?

Blowing the bugle and calling for a rush towards native content seems like a rather self-serving strategy when the bugle-blower stands to profit directly from the development of said content. But it hardly seems like an “answer” to the public’s problem with advertising.

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