“Buzzfeed is the most important news organisation in the world,” wrote Ben Thompson, a technology analyst closely followed by the Silicon Valley set.
By rejecting advertising in favour of advertorials distributed via the same social media channels as its journalism, Thompson believed Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti had created a new kind of media organisation that “perfectly aligned” the interests of staff and readers. With no need to write so-called clickbait to attract big audiences for advertisers, for the first time digital journalists would be completely free of commercial concerns.
That’s to rather miss the point of journalism, which is filling in the white spaces between the ads.
That we call them advertorials doesn’t change that the people paying want the audience to see them….