The ethics of 'embedded' media content: Product placement and 'advertorial' on steroids
- Australian and New Zealand Communication Association
- Publication Type:
- Conference Proceeding
- Refereed proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Annual Conference 2014, 2014, pp. 1 - 21 (21)
- Issue Date:
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While product placement and ‘advertorial’ have been used by advertising and public relations for the best part of a century to place sponsored messages in media content in covert ways, a raft of new techniques and formats for ‘embedding’ marketing and promotional messages in media content are emerging which take these practices to a whole new level and raise major questions about media transparency and ethics. These go by a range of names including sponsored content, integrated content, and native advertising. This paper presents a critical analysis informed by a case study of a state government agency that, in its search for more effective approaches to health communication, uncovered a lack of definitions, guidelines, and transparency in a number of emerging media practices that warrant close attention by researchers, industry regulators, and professional bodies.
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