Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - August 2014

Native Advertising Needs to Shift to Purposeful Content

Last Sunday, John Oliver of the popular show Last Week Tonight looked at the troubling state of native advertising, and it is a slap in the face for media companies and brands.

He argues about the separation between the business side of news and the editorial side, starting with a great example from NBC in 1952, which was sponsored by Camel cigarettes. It's quite amusing considering the challenges we are faced with today.


And it isn't just sponsored by Camel, a little over halfway into the news broadcast, they have created a 'news' segment for a brand of inflatable swimming pools (at 8:55). This is exactly what native advertising promises today.

Note: Also see the 'supermarket of news' strategy that I wrote about a few weeks ago. This broadcast covers pretty much everything, rom disasters to weather, sport, fashion, leisure, and foreign reports.

In John Oliver's show (which you can see below), he makes many very good points and it's worth watching. The last segment of his video brilliantly illustrates just how bad a match 'news' and 'brand promotions' really are.

So watch the video below, and then I will explain why I actually see a very interesting future for native advertising. One that requires a complete transformation of the world of news that we know today.


So, does this mean that native advertising is bad? That it will erode the neutrality and trustworthiness of news like in the 1950s? And, for brands, will it turn out to be yet another wasted form of exposure similar to banner ads?

Yes... and no.

Native advertising today is mostly a dead duck. When big brands pay Buzzfeed to write listicles of "9 ways to do something in a shallow way", it's basically just wasted time. And the long term potential is almost non-existent.

But as I have said before, I see great opportunities for the future of native advertising, but not in the way we do it today.

This 13 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

for just...
for just...
You get two months for free


Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.



The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   strategy   —


A guide to using AI for publishers


How to fix people's perception that climate news is not useful?


A conversion that (never) ends. Mapping publisher funnels


Addressing news avoidance will help every other element of publishing


Managing churn from start to finish


What to consider before switching from subscriptions to memberships