Advert or Article? - You Decide

21-08-2020

Is it a lazy excuse to make up an article out of nothing, or something more insidious?

We’ve had the ‘Slow News Day’ expose http://bit.ly/2NFb5GL where reporters just go down Celebrities Instagram feeds to make up a story, that’s old news and well documented on this site.  It now seems to have evolved, hence this blog, and has become more like mutual advertising happening where both parties are getting the benefit.

On the face of it it’s pretty harmless like this article for instance…

“David Beckham encourages men to be their own role model as he launches new aftershave Bold Instinct

David Beckham

https://bit.ly/3l8QE3A

Its literally an article that tries paint David Beckham ias a role model to all men by him being ‘bold’ and moody in the black and white photos that accompany the article.  Reading the accompanying text further all it really is is a bunch of clips from his latest fragrance launch called 'Bold Instinct' that they are trying to dress up as some sort of moral stance.  It’s a back scratching exercise for both parties as Beckham gets headlines and publicity to sell his fragrance and the tabloids get more readers who want to know what this new crusade is actually about (hint, selling stuff)

Another good example is…

“Sam Faiers and mother Suzie Wells pose for Kardashian-Jenner inspired shoot”

Same & Mum

https://bit.ly/2QfM85c

The article starts out  trying to compare them to the Kardashian clan to get a headline (see ‘Love That Love Me’ http://bit.ly/2K3df04 for more on why they use the comparisons).  It all sounds pretty straight forward, a simple mother and daughter photo shoot, but once again it is just an advert that they are running for a new skincare range. No harm done but really shouldn’t they led that it is an advert not an article?

And the last one of these light hearted ones for this blog is…

“Love Island's Kady McDermott showcases her bronzed physique in mint green lingerie”

Kady McD

https://bit.ly/31iMKNT

Which to be honest just sounds like one of the classic ‘Slow News Day’ articles http://bit.ly/2NFb5GL where a reporter has just done an Instagram trawl for a photo of a woman in a bikini to get ‘clicks’.  But once again this is actually her advertising the bikini and getting paid for it whilst the tabloids try to make it sound like some sort of news article.

All pretty harmless but also a bit deceptive, however it does also have a much darker side and one that has been getting more and more prolific over the last few months…

One of the tabloids ran an article about a relatively new website called ‘OnlyFans’ where anyone who has a reasonable social Media following can basically set up an account to sell ‘private’ material directly to their fans, citing the dangers of it and how it was “horrifying” and “virtual prostitution” https://bit.ly/3ix44o6

A pretty damning article that makes it sound like they took the moral high ground, but it was actually quite the opposite as for literally months before, and on a regular basis since, they have been pulling the trick of ‘Advert or Article You Decide’ and running articles every time a certain ex Love Island star or fading celebrity has posted pictures associated with their ‘OnlyFans’ account https://bit.ly/2AwBUcd

Why would they do this?  Well we think it’s because advertising it for the celebrity in question (and boosting their following and therefore earning potential) means that they keep on doing it AND the tabloid, at the same time, are using the scantily clad photos to boost their own readership so it is a circle that they are not likely to break any time soon.

Next time you read an article about someone making a bold new statement, dressing differently, looking differently or just with not much on ask yourself are they just advertising or is there actually a story in there somewhere? 

Or to put it another way... is it an Advert or Article? – You Decide

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