Startup Asks Users Whether Ads Featuring Real Articles Work

Did this article make you want to buy something?

InPowered—a tech company that pulls in traditional editorial content from around the Web to use in display ads that link out to real articles—has launched a survey tool to measure whether a promoted news story or review actually influences how likely a reader is to purchase something.

For example, say you're looking around at As you navigate the site, you may see an ad for a particular car model—but the ad is a snapshot of an article about that product—and it links to an actual story, not ad copy. At the end of the article, inPowered delivers a survey question asking if readers are more likely to consider the product after reading the piece.

“The industry is very excited about the promise of content marketing—but until today we’ve had no way of gauging its effectiveness,” inPowered president and co-founder Pirouz Nilforoush said in a statement. “Our clients inherently believed that expert content or earned media is the most trusted source of information and they challenged us to help them measure its impact in driving purchase consideration”

A spokesperson for inPowered claimed the company does not need to seek consent from publishers before serving up a survey question. But it's easy enough to imagine journalists being none too pleased that their stories are getting sucked into ads that are used to promote brands. On the other hand, it's not unlike book and movie reviews used to promote a release.

Brands that have signed on with inPowered include Samsung, Dell, US Cellular, Verizon and AT&T. Below is an example of a survey question on the site TreeHugger.

Additional reporting by Mike Shields.

Recommended articles