Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal’s managing editor, is not a fan of native advertising. Capital New York reports that during an Advertising Week discussion, Baker repeatedly slammed the ad units.
At one point, Baker even compared companies using native advertising to Faust, the legendary character who traded his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited intelligence and other pleasures. Yes, it gets that deep at Advertising Week.
Baker said that sponsored content or native ads blur the line between editorial and ads — a common complaint — and added that in the end, it’s a lose/lose situation:
An advertiser wants to advertise in The Wall Street Journal to be seen and to be associated with a brand like The Wall Street Journal, or The Financial Times or Bloomberg, because those news organizations are respected. If [advertisers] manipulate the digital or print operations of those news organizations, it makes the reader confused as to what is news and what is advertising, and the reader’s trust, the very reason that those advertisers want to advertise in those news organizations, goes away.