Native ads in social media: Genius or tricky?

I’ve been so busy managing content for clients that I haven’t had a chance to share my musings lately. But this article caught my eye today on American Public Media. As a follower of Buzzfeed, I am very familiar with native ads. Or so I thought.

I took the quiz on the link and only scored a 20%. Seems I was hoodwinked to think they were real stories.

This sort of makes me feel uneasy. While I respect the value of the content and it being written in a journalistic and interesting manner, it reminds me of the full disclosure policy bloggers use. Anytime I am writing sponsored content or I have gotten a product free for review, the FCC requires bloggers to disclose that it is indeed a sponsored review. So what are the rules if you are technically reviewing your own product? Well you don’t have to disclose that. You can write an article like “Top 10 cars under $18,000″ and have your Ford come out on top. Something about that is not right.

While I appreciate creative and interesting ways of presenting useful content, this is something I hope the FCC regulates in the future.

What are your thoughts? Take the quiz and see if you too have been hoodwinked.

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