Sure, it’s been obvious that the tone of every @Michael_Borys post sounds like an over-the-top marketing pitch, but neither he nor anyone else at Boing Boing has admitted as much.
This is what 42 Entertainment says about itself:
We’re shifting the line between marketing and entertainment.
As audiences become increasingly adept at filtering out traditional ads, they’ve also grown more tolerant of ad messages embedded within the story.
Audiences are primed for discovery.
The wired generation of today are social curators, cool hunters scouring the web and the world around them for new things to share. Information is today’s social currency. When you give people new things to discover, not only will they spread it through their networks but it becomes their own. Do this and your audience will come looking for you.
Connect through content
Audiences are becoming increasingly adept at filtering out traditional advertising.
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Let us help you push beyond standard product placement with unique creative solutions that truly offer added value.
We’ve all known that Michael Borys’s posts were product placement, but it’s nice to see the strategy so clearly laid out.
So if this is sponsored content, why isn’t it disclosed?
Advertorial: Any advertisements that are presented in an editorial format will be prominently marked as sponsored.
Whenever we are paid to post something, it is marked ADVERTISEMENT (ads) or SPONSORED (native/words/content, etc).
He also seemed to share concerns of things that sound like advertorials:
Native advertising has made straight-up personal “I like this product” reportage look like bullshit. We have to be more conscious about how tone (and PR stock art) can make honest blogging seem unfortunately redolent of advertorial.
If it’s not directly sponsored, it still just feels shady. Why was Borys’s affiliation never mentioned? And, given that he’s a marketer, are we really expected to believe he actually owns any of the products he effusively praises, or believe any of the personal stories he tells about them?