“content” is, by nature, value-less. It is filler, it is at best the HFCS of the digital realm. Content is distinctly different than Product, in that content is not tangible. Content is a story, content is an experience, but more importantly content is tertiary. Our world is filled with real things that we need or can use and surrounding those things is this stuff called “content.” In order to sell products we create context, and the best way to do this is to create content.
in short, content is a by-product of the means of production. it is a digital turd deposited by industry. it is a red herring, a false positive of value. Great products and services always have some sort of content surrounding them, but presence of content =/= presence of product.
look at vice and buzzfeed as an example of this. vice provides, or at least attempts to provide, a critical look at global issues. their specific lens produces not only a product, but content. buzzfeed is the opposite in that they seek to create content, and so attempt to find suitable subjects.
perhaps this nuance is lost on big business, but as the ones who inspire we should be focused on helping our clients see the difference. what you said about truth and real value is valid, we must help people see the value that they offer. but we should not become blinded into believing the shiny content is valuable in of itself.