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Comedian John Oliver poses for photographers backstage during the 41st International Emmy Awards in New York on November 25, 2013. (CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)
Comedian John Oliver poses for photographers backstage during the 41st International Emmy Awards in New York on November 25, 2013. (CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)

PERSUASION NOTEBOOK

John Oliver weighs in on native advertising Add to ...

Since its debut this spring, Daily Show alumnus John Oliver’s satirical news show has been on a roll.

Last Week Tonight has tackled everything from income inequality, to the seamy underbelly of FIFA, to America’s broken prison system – and managed to be at once sharp, on point, and hilarious. Now Mr. Oliver has taken on the rise of “native advertising.” That’s the kind of advertising many news organizations (including The Globe and Mail) have begun to sell; produced for and sometimes by advertisers, but presented alongside editorial content.

Some have argued this is creating a crisis of trust in the news media. A recent study found that despite news organizations’ claims that native advertising is always transparent and clearly marked, the majority of visitors to news websites actually could not distinguish the difference between paid advertising masquerading as articles, and the rest of the journalism.

Oliver’s blistering take on the subject is worth a watch.

Follow on Twitter: @susinsky

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