AdSense for Delo?

I’m a bit undecided on this one, so I’m asking you… Do you think that it’s OK for (or any other website) to be masking the ads like genuine articles and attaching the word “advertismen” (oglasno sporočilo) at the bottom?

Delo’s website on 3 July @ 0100 hrs. Red lines (by me) denote the advertisment

I know that in print this is called “shadow” or “undercover” adveritising. But is it OK to use it on webpages? I mean, AdSense does basically the same thing and noone is complaining…

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

30 thoughts on “AdSense for Delo?”

  1. I think it’s a non-issue. I’m far more concerned about the quality and independence of the true article writing than the latest sales tactics. Let’s face it, there’d be no ‘real’ text without ads and your average room temp iq person should be able to recognize a straightforward advertising message for what it is.

  2. I’m not so sure about the last part of your comment. If hidden ads are easily spotted, why try to hide them in the first place?

    Moreover, advertising and media independence are heavily connected. But in Slovenia that translates to “the less ads a medium has, the more independent it is”.

    And thirdly – don’t you think that it is kind of degrading to users that they should be forced to sift through oodles of ads (the phrase was once used by Jonas, I forget where) to get the content?

  3. In my opinion it’s a nuisance. I prefer if adverts are optically seperate from “real content”. I don’t mind adverts in newspapers or webpages, if it’s not too much. If I have to look twice, what is information and what bullshit it’s not unlikely, I won’t trust that site/newspaper/whatever too much anymore. Delo says “oglasno sporocilo” which is at least something. I know news-sites here in Germany where you don’t have such notifications. The only thing then is, that there’s a tiny little note, that the article was written by pfizer, weight watchers or what ever.
    Ads – why not. But not too intrusive and not at all hidden.

  4. It’s messed up. Blending in advertisements to look like other news stories is a really cheap trick. And I think it profoundly undermines the newspaper itself. The reader should always be first, followed by advertisers. When Delo demonstrates that it has no problem trying to fool its readers, it also shows me that it doesn’t have my interests at heart. And it makes me wonder if they’d have any misgivings about taking cash for a story in other parts of the paper.

    Shame on them.

  5. @Michael M.: Yeah, I have a bad feeling about it too… I mean: it’s been done before (you yorself have done a great post on ad-papers, but to see this becoming everyday practice at Delo makes my heart sink.

    On the other hand I do realize (from first hand experience) that a media company sometimes has to resort to cheap tricks, just to stay in business. But it pains me to see that Delo is going down the same path. Why, I wonder…

  6. @Poulette: But your lips are definitely better looking (if it’s any consolation :))

    @Dietmar: The same goes for SLO. Unfortunatelly.

  7. One of JJ’s pet newsgrinders, and it has to resort to this? Awww, kinda makes me think of a chick that’s married (or something) a rich dude but has to keep walking the streets anyway, y’know?

    No, not really. The sneaky marketing subconsciousnes-stabbery, mind-rape and eye-guttery are just there to show us that Delo’s just ‘one of the guys, trying to make ends meet in this cruel world of ours’.

    I’m sure there’s a third variant somewhere around there, too. But eitherway, I don’t like it. Bleh.

    More naked chickness in adds, no matter how obvious that makes ’em! (…and it’ll give the people something to shout about, thusly making the add even MORE efficient. Remembereth ye all the glorious days of the many factor’d bottoms, courtesy of Sun Mix?)

  8. that: Do you think that it’s OK for (or any other website) to be masking the ads like genuine articles and attaching the word “advertismen” (oglasno sporočilo) at the bottom?

    I don’t see a reason why not….

  9. Oyeah,… while people chase around crocodiles, tornadoes or veneral diseases, I chase around wildly inaccurate metaphors. Besides, y’know… who WOULDN’T think about mixing it in the sun (nakedchix(TM) included) on a day like this.

    Why not? Well,… what’s the point of a commercial, if it doesn’t scream “IN THE NAME OF THE NAKED BUTTS, I COMMAND YE TO BUY STUFF!” It’s how we do things!:)

    But, jokes aside (heh heh), immagine the dude reading the TV news suddenly doing some well placed product placement and informing you about the awesomeness of some bank’s loan conditions between reading two ordinary bits of news, and in the same level voice too… it’s a bit bizzare, no?

  10. @Pengovsky

    “If hidden ads are easily spotted, why try to hide them in the first place?”

    This is a highly philosophical question which I am still pondering…

    @DJ Bunny

    I don’t know if naked women are enough to greatly increase sales since there are SO MANY OF THEM selling stuff in Slo. When walking along the aisles of the local market how can you remember which tit said what? It’s all too indistinguishable and thus less effective than talking lizards (which sell car insurance here in States) and other talking animals and celebrities (which I guess are mostly just talking monkies)…
    I would love to see some actual research results on this matter.

  11. The name of the company who posted the ad is not exactly the thing I usually care for in ads with naked breast 😈

  12. …which has no place among other, true, atricles in my opinion. That’s been bothering me… PR articles as fine. Read them if you like. But inserting them among other articles, hoping noone will notice the difference – that’s just bad form…

  13. PR articlea and regular articles together = bad combination. It’s almost like … erotic pics among pics for children.
    Why? It’s cheating… You want to read regular articles and not the PR ones… but as they’re “undercover” we read them too… unwillingly…

  14. ok, cheating? then every ad is cheating….did you notice that if you buy a certain cleaning product your kitchen and bathroom gets clean in a second, did u notice that when you have your menstruation, you can now jump around in white pants and no red stain will appear on them at any time, did you notice that if you wash those white pants with a certain washing powder they will come out even more white then they were when you bought them, and did u notice that u are eligible to apply for an American visa every day, or even worse, every day u are the millionth visitor to a certain website-so congratulations, get your prize now-click here.

    heh, now thats cheating….but yes, in a way, they could at least write on the top of the article “ad” or something like that. 🙂

  15. pengovsky, you don’t seem all that undecided on this one 🙂
    Are you sure about less ads translating to more independence? I find that difficult to believe. All publication is financed by somebody, none can survive on sales alone, so the only issue is *who* provides the financial background. I prefer banks to other options. And no, I don’t think glancing at ads is degrading to users looking for content. It’s the ads that make it possible for content to be there 😉

  16. Hehe… Actually, I am undecided. Because I can relate to both sides of the story.

    When I said that less ads mean more independence is was mean in a sarcastical way. The sad fact in this coutry is that there are only a couple big advertisers which sustain (if you will) most of Slovene media.

    Most of these companies are also government controlled, which means at two things. 1) A medium is discouraged to publish anything that is damaging to the advertiser, and 2) a medium is discouraged to publish anything damaging to the government (this or any of the previous governments).

    This especially goes for the smaller media, but it has happened to more influential media as well, especially recently.

    While it is easy to say that such pressure-tactis are despicable, they are understandable. And thus (in my opinion) it falls to the media to deflect such moves, especially by not putting advertising income over content, which has happened in this case.

    On the other hand, I know from first hand experience that it’s not all roses out there and than one must do what it takes to survive.

    Yes, an ad makes it possible for content to be there, but it is the content (and not the ad) that makes the users come back for more. Ads are a necesary evil, if you will. You don’t really want them, but you can’t live without them.

    And I’m not saying that publishing ads is degrading to users per se. It is putting ads in place of content, masking it as content and “selling it” as content that is degrading, because it counts on stupidity of users, hoping they won’t notice and will consider it a proper content.

  17. I can definitely see your line of reasoning and actually agree with it for the most part as it’s similar to mine. Let’s face it, we live in the real world and in any country out there business and politics are intertwined. How could they possibly not be. Re last paragraph. If I play the devil’s advocate once again, disguising ad content (come on, with a sign “advertisement” at the bottom is not that big a cover-up) could be taken as a compliment to the users’ intelligence as they have to try harder to get them interested.

    Ultimately, the reason for this sort of ads is that we’re collectively developed a subconscious block-out of image-based ads as we’ve been bombarded so heavily over the years. If they want us to take notice, it their message *has* to be a text one. Hey, this also means their entire target audience is literate! Another compliment, if you catch my drift 🙂

  18. Perhaps I can draw your attention to this. Disregard the style and the opinion, the fact are more than disturbing on their own.

    And don’t you think that it is highly worrying that Delo has to resort to the same tactist as, say, “Zgornji Duplek Weekly Gazzette” ?

  19. As one of the ex-subscribers that Delo has been desparately trying to lure back from Dnevnik and other papers I can imagine that the countless cancellations by previously nearly life-long loyal readers due to indigestible corporate policies may have had something to do with the company resorting to less than high-class measures to secure its survival. It was never the ads that made my heart sink when it came to Delo. It was a host of other reasons, all of them stemming from the same source.

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