No one likes sponsored advertising, but it is apparently here to stay. So it’s nice to see Gawker — which posts plenty of advertorial content — acknowledge how awful it is. Here is Tom Scocca — managing editor of the site — on its own sponsored content:
The ad that doesn’t feel like an ad—this is the grail right now, for everyone, Gawker Media very much included. So we get the occasional humiliating advertorial post, with straight-up garbage dressed to resemble actual content, through which the advertiser (or the publication) tells the reader, ‘We think you are stupid, and we have bad taste.’
Scocca also called out another post, in which John Cook was irrationally upset about adults using wipes instead of toilet paper. Cottonelle’s parent company — Kimberly-Clark — noticed the post and paid Gawker to promote it. The result is that readers saw the post once, and then again, because “the toilet-paper company wanted you to see the name of the toilet-paper company.”
We love that Scocca wrote this about sponsored content, but sort of disagree about how bad it is. To us, advertorials are becoming just like any other ad: We ignore them all completely. If this is how media companies have to make money, then so be it. It sucks, but you know, there are worse things in life. Like Bruno Mars.