MSNBC “Leans Forward” Into Running
Looking to beef up its web presence, MSNBC has brought “Lean Forward” online with a new and improved website, calling it a “Platform for the Lean Forward, progressive community.” A key part of funding that platform: running “native advertisements” for America’s Natural Gas Alliance and General Electric.
“General Electric and America’s Natural Gas Alliance are the site’s launch partners,” explained an October 30 MediaPost article.
“GE, the first native ad partner for msnbc.com, will collaborate with MSNBC to deliver a content series that highlights how the ‘Industrial Internet’ and ‘Brilliant Machines Innovation’ are reshaping our world. America’s Natural Gas Alliance will be featured in sponsored polls in the ‘Speak Out’ section of the site centered on natural gas facts.”
GE, former owner of NBC, of which MSNBC is one of its many tentacles, is fully invested in the fossil fuel industry, with assets in fracking, coal, offshore drilling, tar sands, and more. ANGA is the shale gas industry’s lobbying tour de force, both at the federal and state level.
Native advertising – also referred to as “branded content” or “native content” – is quickly replacing banner ads and pop-up ads as the go-to channel of reaching consumers for advertising executives.
“Native content is a digital advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience, matching both the form and function of the environment in which it is placed,” explained a recent MarketingWeek article.
If banner ads and pop-up ads are “overt ads,” then native ads are best described as “covert ads,” akin to the controversial “video news releases” for TV news.
“The tricky bit is to not get too focused on traditional marketing and advertising, to integrate the story so that it feels seamless. There has to be a narrative. It can’t just be putting advertising into the editorial mix because then it feels incongruous,” Matt Elek, Managing Director for VICE Magazine said in a recent interview with MarketingWeek.
“The point of native advertising is that it has to be content because if you end up in someone’s newsfeed and you’re advertising, then it can have the reverse effect of what’s intended, they’ll feel tricked into having blatant advertising messages merged in.”
Federal Trade Commission Hearing on Native Ads
It’s the “feels seamless” part of the native ads experience that has garnered the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
“[T]he blurring line between editorial and advertising — native ads’ secret sauce — has raised concerns that consumers are being duped. That in turn has caught the eye of the U.S. government,” wrote Ad Age.
On December 4, the FTC will host its first ever workshop on native ads.
“Increasingly, advertisements that more closely resemble the content in which they are embedded are replacing banner advertisements – graphical images that typically are rectangular in shape – on publishers’ websites and mobile applications,” says an FTC press release announcing the workshop.
“The workshop will bring together publishing and advertising industry representatives, consumer advocates, academics, and government regulators to explore changes in how paid messages are presented to consumers and consumers’ recognition and understanding of these messages.”
Advertising industry executives have already expressed concerns rthat egulations could be in the works.
“Part of the fear is that the regulators may ultimately decide that all sponsored content should be labeled because that’s an easy black and white line,” Linda Goldstein, partner and chairwoman for the advertising, marketing and media division at the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips said in a recent interview with The New York Times.
Fusing Advertising with Editorial Content
A case in point: On September 10, Huffington Post Green ran a native ad article titled, “8 Cities Embracing Natural Gas” sponsored by ANGA.
Uploaded by bYarlboro on Sep 26, 2011
An excellent piece of main stream coverage on this past weekend, I’m sure this video wont be up long, but figured the folks looking at the vids on this channel would appreciate it.
Thanks for an excellent piece Lawrence O’donnel
Follow the live stream of the occupy wall street protests here:
This may seem insignificant to some, but this is where REAL reform starts.
These protests are filled with individual who have a quarrel with how corrupt our government and federal bank have become. Many have their own message, many just know they are not happy and want to create a better society for themselves and their fellow Americans.
The corruption of the FED is avoided by the main stream media, make your own assumptions as to why, but one of the goals of these protestors is to bring light to some of these facts. The FED has handed out over $16 Trillion to private banks and corporations in the past 4 years and NONE of this was addressed in the mainstream news nor was it approved of by the people. This is clearly a red flag!! Look at these reputable links below that PROVE my statements are true, and spread them around.
Dont allow these protestors sacrifices to be in vain!!
Forbes Article on the $16 Trillion bail out:
Unelected.orgs reporting on the $16 Trillion with many more links to information:
Senator Bernie Sanders report on the $16 Trillion:
The GAO report on which organizations funds were allocated to (see page 131):
The Full report on GAO.gov:
What’s happening with the Murdoch media empire and Fox News is a perfect and scathing example of why regulation of business is a necessary function of government, in this case to protect a large segment of the population from a propaganda machine created with the intent to sway elections. Not to deliver objective news stories, which is the purpose of a television news station.
by Mark Joyella | 6:09 pm, July 13th, 2011
In a blistering indictment of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir described the owner of rival Fox News Channel as an “unelected media baron” who “was capable of intimidating governments and even swinging elections.” The comments, in Bashir’s end-of-show “Clear the Air” segment, which is a broadcast version of an Op-Ed column, described Murdoch’s rise to power in Great Britain, Bashir’s home. “How did Mr. Murdoch achieve such omnipotence? The answer? Brilliantly, methodically, aggressively and slowly.”
Bashir, who said the UK phone hacking scandal that brought down News of the World, and today’s collapse of Murdoch’s efforts to take complete control of British pay TV company BSkyB represent “nothing short of a catastrophic turnaround” for Murdoch, who just a matter of weeks ago hosted the most powerful British politicians at his annual summer party, where Bashir said “every guest lined up to kiss his ring.” Bashir described a media mogul whose accumulation of power had put him beyond the reach of government:
By the time politicians realized that one media baron had become so powerful that he was capable of intimidating governments and even swinging elections, well they were simply too powerless to do anything about it.
Mr. Murdoch is a disturbing example of what can happen when government falls on its knees and gets out of the way. An unelected media baron begins to dominate public discourse even to the point of determining the outcome of a general election.
Let’s hope that Mr. Murdoch is never allowed to do the same thing in this country.
Watch Martin’s coverage of the story here, from MSNBC: