This is pretty funny. Responding to a weekend interview in The Guardian that relayed some harsh words from VICE co-founder Shane Smith for Nick Denton and co. (“Gawker is a bunch of bitches…”), Hamilton Nolan has posted the following:
CORRECTION TO ALL PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED STORIES:
VICE does not do branded content — rather, it does content sponsored by brands. VICE may also wear some North Face shit, sometimes. We regret any perceived insinuation that VICE is not as cool as VICE would lead you to believe.
In the Guardian interview, Smith said that rather than branded content, VICE sticks to “content sponsored by brands.” In other words, he maintains that the site preserves the integrity of faraway hangs with natives, even when the content appears on the surface to be edging into native advertising territory.
In the Gawker item comments, Deadspin staff writer Tom Ley points to a very relevant Exhibit A: an August 2013 Deadspin item by Tim Marchman alleging some “branded” connections between VICE’s Fightland site and the UFC. Let the games continue!