The misleading world of news versus advertising

It is increasingly difficult for media to make money these days. Some of their methods and inconsistencies are being questioned.

A thread at Reddit suggests that The Spinoff is confusing product promotions with news on Facebook: The Spinoff hiding adverts like it’s a news article, the same stuff they call out other media agencies for. No disclaimer, no transparency.

That’s on Facebook. It was pointed out by ‘nekomae’:

The “Content created in partnership with HelloFresh” banner at the beginning of the article, the “Partner content” author credit, and “This content was created in paid partnership with HelloFresh” disclaimer at the end (including a link to their partner content policy) doesn’t count?

You have to look carefully for those disclosures but they are there.

It might not be excellent transparency but “no disclaimer” would suggest an absolute lack of anything.

RanuiVibes91 responded:

Fair point. I’m meaning on the actual FB post. Doesn’t really bother me either way just more the fact they call out everyone else but don’t exactly follow the rules themselves. Moral high grounds and all that….

Both fair points. On Facebook there is no indication it is an advertorial type link – and Facebook will be the primary place that many people see content from media sites like The Spinoff.

Looking at other links on The Spinoff’s Facebook page shows criticism of other media and their advertising, but more links that appear to be product related.

This is fair criticism of advertising at NZ Herald (there are often advertisements on television that are just as misleading). Actual costs – $14.99 PLUS $49.98 for ‘processing and handling’ PLUS $9.99 for ‘processing and handling’ of the ‘free’ nutrient fusion (whatever that is) for a total of $64.97 – for a 30 day ‘risk free trial’. The actual cost to buy everything outright is $599.97 – so this is awful advertising and deliberately misleading about the price.

But this is a separate issue. Back to The Spinoff on Facebook.  Also yesterday:

News or product promotion? There are no disclosures on the linked article, so this appears to be an actual article – but it’s impossible to tell the difference on Facebook.

While it can’t be ignored I usually manage to avoid most advertising online. If something does annoy me I shut it and go somewhere else.

But these advertising methods must be effective or they wouldn’t keep being used.

It amazes me that there is growing business in delivering food packs to homes, but that is consumers choice.

So is avoiding links and sites that have annoying advertising – also consumers’ choice.

 

 

 

 

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16 Comments

  1. PartisanZ

     /  January 10, 2019

    Another thing to thank Rogerednomics for … They had to sell it to us somehow!

    Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 10, 2019

    It’s worry when the advertising is more honest than the news though.

    Reply
    • acrossthespectrum

       /  January 10, 2019

      @Alan Wilkinson “It’s worry when the advertising is more honest than the news though.”
      Well to be fair KIA neither are honest of course.
      And both are always selling to the right wing because they have more money.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 10, 2019

        Any business that is dishonest doesn’t have a long-term future unless it has Government backing. The best and cheapest advertising is word of mouth and all businesses should be working to generate that for the longer term. Initial advertising that is dishonest will never do it.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  January 10, 2019

          That’s no longer true. Saturation advertising products people don’t need – consumerism – is hugely successful. Word of mouth only operates on small scales now.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  January 10, 2019

            Saturation advertising is costly wasted money unless the product earns repeat business.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  January 10, 2019

              The cheese is an article. The cheesery is in Mercer, and I would advise people to stop. It’s wonderful cheese and an interesting story of a man making a business from nothing..

              The misleading ads just before the news offer a trial for a mere $X + $39-49 p&h in tiny letters that are all but unreadable. It’s returned at the mug’s expense if you don’t like it. They throw in what is basically a manual which is supposedly worth $50. I suppose that there are fools who buy these overpriced articles or they wouldn’t keep going.

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 10, 2019

              @Alan – “Saturation advertising is costly wasted money unless the product earns repeat business.”

              Advertising & PR has gone WAY BEYOND that Alan … using the techniques pioneered by Bernays & Co …

              For instance, if the ‘product’ is “Four Lanes + Chinese Investment’, as it appears to be in regular True Blue ‘Transport’ lift-outs in Northland newspapers, it’s about much longer-term goals than “repeat business” …

  3. acrossthespectrum

     /  January 10, 2019

    News is advertising. News is selling a view to a target audience. I stopped watching TV1 news in 1974 because I realised it was simply selling propaganda to the middle aged right wing because they had the most money.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  January 10, 2019

      News, like everything else in ‘our’ media, effectively sells us our own way of life … It’s become and is always becoming ever increasing degrees of ‘confirmation bias’ … It confirms our world view at every turn … e.g. “Unsanctioned Protests in France” …

      Here’s an alternative view of protests in France:

      ” … events in France which are very poorly covered in NZ. You just hear and see the official version coming out of London. The French government has lost every credibility and does not recognize it. Macron is a psychopath who lives in his own world, a banker who looks after his own class. It took the French some time to figure out that this guy is not what he looked like when they voted for him. Now it is him and his system against 80% of the population.

      This coming weekend the government will mobilise about 80,000 police and there was even talk about using the military by government officials. The yellow vests have two main demands: a referendum and a version of “France first” which is against globalization. The EU in their eyes is nothing more than another enslavement system. After three hundred years of capitalism the result is a disaster.

      Everybody has the right to lead a decent life. The resources are there. France is a very rich country. It is just a distribution problem. The rich have to share. They don’t want to do that. So there is very little room for a compromise. If you cannot feed your family the economic system is the problem. The French learned their lesson the hard way.

      What the yellow vests do is the way to organize resistance in our time: Do not set up a formal organisation which is easy for the establishment to destroy. Present no leaders which are easy to target. This approach was recommended by Professor Mausfeld, one of the great thinkers of our time, about two years ago.

      I used to live in France. The relationship between police and population has always been difficult. Their police tends to be very aggressive. And you never know how much of the violence is instigated by the police. The way I see it, there is only one possible outcome, but the days afterwards are the problem to reorganize society.”

      Hans-Jurgen Geese, author of ‘1984 – The Year New Zealanders Became Slaves’ (2018)

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  January 11, 2019

        “Macron is a psychopath who lives in his own world, a banker who looks after his own class. It took the French some time to figure out that this guy is not what he looked like when they voted for him. ”

        The French are not very bright if this is true. Macron is an absolute product of the elite system that runs in France, and everyone knew that. To claim the French had to ‘figure’ that out is laughable.

        “After three hundred years of capitalism the result is a disaster.”

        Funny kind of disaster that has delivered more wealth and prosperity than the world has ever seen before.

        “If you cannot feed your family the economic system is the problem. The French learned their lesson the hard way.”

        There is starvation in France now is there?

        “The way I see it, there is only one possible outcome, but the days afterwards are the problem to reorganize society.”

        Wow, that was a surprise, he wants to reorganise society.

        Reply
  4. artcroft

     /  January 10, 2019

    Whale Oil complained endlessly about this as well. Then something happened next… can’t remember what…oh wait.. that’s right.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  January 10, 2019

      What, Arty…what? Finish your draw.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  January 10, 2019

        Because it shows Slater as doing a complete flip flop.
        reality is he has a biggish audience for his blog , but they are the wrong people for advertisers . being highly skewed to male and over 50.
        So thats why native advertising is wrong but not when you flog utes you are driving for free or running a online butchers shop

        Reply
  5. PartisanZ

     /  January 10, 2019

    Why would we have a discussion about ethics in the media … The two things are mutually exclusive.

    Reply
    • acrossthespectrum

       /  January 10, 2019

      The media do have ethics which are to inform and conform to the majority preferences.

      Reply

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