A recent NY Times article discussed the possible impact that native advertising may have on the journalism world, calling it "advertising wearing the uniform of journalism". It is easy when navigating a media website to run across an interesting article topic, only then to realize that you have clicked into an ad disguised as a news story.

The appeal of this type of advertising for marketers is clear. If the copywriter does a good job, the reader may believe that they are getting credible information that engages them and elicits some type of buying activity. At the least, the marketer may get more engagement than they would through a simple banner ad or pop-up.

An example cited in the article is BrandVoice from Forbes magazine. It allows advertisers to produce editorial content that is labeled as advertising, but has the familiar headline, art and text configuration of an editorial work.

Some major media brands have been utilizing this approach to increase their ad revenues, including Forbes, The Atlantic and The New Yorker. The questionable practice is disguising ad-driven copy as actual news. In many cases readers are made aware that the article is sponsored or advertising, but when it isnít the site owner may suffer credibility issues.

A critical development is a trend for media site owners to allow marketers into their content management systems, allowing them to post ďarticlesĒ where they wish without editorial oversight. The confusion that could result may have a strong detrimental effect on journalism. Itís early in the game, but this may turn out to be another advertising gimmick gone wrong, so marketers may instead prefer to utilize media relations efforts that result in generating legitimate third-party journalism coverage to credibly articulate their message.