Choose Your Own Package

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What a lovely image. Floating about the clouds, enjoying a cold beverage, listening to some tunes from your mp3 player. That is how we all want to believe flying to be, but reality sets in once you board your plane. Flying has nearly become more of a luxury than a convenience with all of the changes airlines are making. Delta is a company that has more changes on the way.

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It’s not always sunny at Sony

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Sony Pictures has once again been a target. In 2011, Sony was hacked and the Playstation (PS) servers were brought down leaving gamers without access to online gaming for days. Additionally, over 70 million gaming accounts had information stolen. I was one of those who had my password stolen and had to change everything. Sony’s been hacked again, but this time it is Sony Pictures.

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Big Fat Screw Up

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Walmart. Always a target. Always.

Walmart is no stranger to controversy whether it is from their employment practices, their paid wages, where their stuff is made, or any other reason you can think of. Recently their online site has come under criticism for something posted that may, or may not, have been intentional. Either way, everyone can agree that the newest flub is quite a big fat screw-up.

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The Diabolical One

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I admit it. I’m a Marvel fan. My favorite hero is Captain America and I’ve read his comics all the way from his re-introduction in the 1960’s until today. I guess that means I’ve now lost my “street cred”, but I’m ok with it. Despite being a fan of the comic company, I don’t necessarily agree with some of their business practices. Their decision to cancel The Fantastic Four, possibly to spite Fox, may seem like a good idea on the surface, but is really a poor decision in reality.

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You mad, bro?!

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I’ve been an avid gamer of MMORPGs, also known as a Massive Multi-player Online Role playing Games, since about the year 2000. MMOs, which an MMORPG is typically referred to as, are games in which thousands of people connect to a server to interact with online through quests, raids, and player vs player (PVP). Think of World of Warcraft (WoW), which is the most popular and well known MMO to date by the general public.

You log in, choose a server, choose a race, customize your character, and then you enter your world as your ultra-buff and extremely attractive pixelated avatar and begin your adventure for fame and glory! However, many MMOs are plagued with bad starts. The newest MMO out, ArcheAge, may have taken on the title of biggest flub of an MMO launch.

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Not So Golden Arches?

Over 1 billion sold? The restaurant establishment known to some as the “golden arches” has posted another loss for the once thriving fast food chain. Does this mean Ronald McDonald will be at the local welfare office looking for his unemployment check?

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News Is Going Native

Last week there was a story online about an Apple delivery truck died in the middle of the street in Chicago and was blocking traffic. The street was one way and was causing huge backup which was delaying some other important city traffic, but an amazing neighbor who is now a local hero is being praised for their quick response because tow trucks could not get to the truck to help. The neighbor heard the shouts and immediately came out with a can of BP gasoline. He poured it in the gas tank and the car began moving which helped traffic resume and all deliveries was made for the day. Remember that article? Yeah, me neither, but it could be the start of a growing trend.

 

The Guardian, an online newspaper, announced last month that it was making a “branded content and innovation agency” which is partnered with Unilever (Kutsch, 2014). The Guardian is engaging in what is known as native advertising. Native advertising is a blurring of the lines of journalism and advertising. It’s essentially the print version of an infomercial.

 

What’s really blurring the lines here is that unlike traditional advertising, which uses outside companies to write and pay for ads, the ads are written by in house reporters who produce content for outside companies (Kutsch, 2014). This is a cause for concern because the lines between what an editorial are and what an advertisement are may be delineated only through the notifications that what you’re reading is an advertisement and those notifications are typically small or not as highlighted. For a profession which is supposed to be objective, they are now employees of the advertising business.

 

The reason for moving to native advertising is because news media sources are struggling to replace a decline in print with digital sales and while digital sales have risen, only about 12% of Americans and 9% of Brits say they’ve paid for digital news (Kutsch, 2014). Many companies and advertisers see native advertising as a more effective way to generate attention from online customers than through traditional banner advertisements (Kutsch, 2014). As long as the ads are clearly marked as ads, I can see these being effective and more fun to read, but if not then I could foresee lawsuits against many of these journalists or advertisers for purposely deceiving the general public.

 

The FTC, which usually regulates this type of stuff, is currently working on a policy for native advertising (Kutsch, 2014). However, until this is established, advertisers currently have free reign for this sort of business. This can be a boon for the consumer who will see typically objective professionals writing for advertisers who may not know their profession as well.

 

Here’s just one example of a type of native advertising:

 

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How do you feel about this? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

References:

 

Kutsch, T. (2014, March 08). The blurred lines of native advertising. AlJazeera America. Retrieved from http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/8/the-blurred-linesofanativeaadvertising.html