"Native" advertising- or paid-for content disguised as editorial content- is not a new idea. We've all seen poorly-masked examples of it before. Unfortunately the almighty dollar is powerful, and even some well-respected sites are no longer fighting the good fight against the practice.
Speaking in a recent interview on Digiday, journalist and blogger Andrew Sullivan described native advertising as journalism ‘surrendering’. “Advertising snuck into the editorial pages in a way that advertising has always wanted to do,” he says. “It used to be an axiom that the job of journalists was to be resistant to that and sustain the clear distinction between advertising and journalism. One side has effectively surrendered.”