Thursday, September 30, 2004
Online advertorials worry watchdogs
According to Mediapost, "Weather.com's decision earlier this month to start running advertorials for Scott's fertilizer--a first for that site--evidences the growing trend of online content paid for by sponsors, say online media experts. And while the watchdogs say there's nothing inherently wrong with advertorials, they stress that publishers should clarify that the content is paid for. Without such disclaimers, they say, consumers will eventually lose confidence in the Web as a source of information... The Scott's advertorial on Weather.com has not yet launched, says a company spokeswoman, so it's unclear how the site plans to handle any disclaimers. Although Weather.com has no corresponding print presence, experts say they consider it a journalistic site because it performs the traditionally journalistic tasks of collecting and analyzing information."
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