Coleman Defends HuffPo’s Sponsored Content

The Huffington Post defended its growing use of advertorial content yesterday.

Greg Coleman, the company’s president and chief revenue officer, appearing at AdweekMedia’s Social Media Strategies conference in New York, said this sponsor-created content, produced by such companies as IBM, GE and Starwood, was clearly distinguished from HuffoPo’s own content.

At the same time, Coleman explained that HuffPo promoted this sponsored content through its
extensive social network broadcasting and sharing system and through its SEO techniques, which means the sponsored content comes up in relevant searches on Google and other search engines and links back to HuffPo.

Michael Wolff, AdweekMedia’s editorial director, and Jim Cooper, AdweekMedia’s executive editor, both challenged Coleman about whether the social networking and SEO stratagies might create confusion about the origin of the sponsored content.

Coleman defended this approach as a natural extension of traditional editorial and advertising co-existence.