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    “…that is clearly marked as sponsored.” Right.

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    Through 42 years in journalism & public affairs (both in-house & as consultant), I have never encountered a conflict between editorial and advertorial/advertising. Sure, I once had a current editor-in-chief and vice-president of National Geographic frantically phone me to apologise on behalf of an over-eager subeditor for having given him a byline on one of my releases. However, as I pointed out to Dave at the time, I viewed that as a compliment. After all, the best releases are written such that they should be able to be used verbatim.

    Thanks to unambiguous labelling, recipient editors understood the media releases (in hardcopy or soft) were not hardcore news. Thanks to unambiguous understanding with our clients, they understood our standards of integrity dictated quality corporate/product news needed never be mutton dressed as lamb. Thus the Church never trespassed on State property and vice versa. Even when I secured a client a double-page spread in TIME, the lines were clear. Sincerity & integrity formed the foundations.

    What is evident from “native advertising” to date is that, ab initio, duplicity is key. The fact that an ambiguous and obtuse euphemism has to be employed in calling the thing “native advertising”, bassoons disingenuous intent.

    Nor can the changed nature of modern media be proposed as an alibi. That is eloquently borne out by the fact that John Oliver and thousands of others quite cogently find the lines of distinction fuzzy if not deliberately smudged. “Native advertising” is neither native nor advertising. Indeed, it reminds us of the numerous euphemisms employed in defence of apartheid. From separate development, through bantustans, homelands and pluralism, when all the bullshit was scrubbed away, it was still apartheid.

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