The launch of Condé Nast’s sponsored content studio — 23 Stories by Condé Nast — will likely mean good things for advertisers, and awkward things for Condé staffers.
The new unit — named for the 23 floors that Condé occupies in 1 WTC — will use Condé writers to create the ads, effectively taking the typical separation of business and editorial and mashing it into one giant, messy ball of content.
23 Stories will be led by Pat Connolly, vice president of marketing solutions for the Condé Nast Media Group. Connolly will report to Edward Menicheschi, Condé’s CMO. Menicheschi, of course, does not see the problem with using Condé staffers to create ads. In an announcement, he was proud to offer advertisers “access to our unparalleled editorial assets.”
Yet one wonders what this means for Condé brands. Does The New Yorker still hold its place of esteem when its editors are worrying about creating ads? Obviously Condé’s execs think it is worth the risk. We doubt editors and staff writers feel the same way.