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How The BBC Endorsed Content Marketing Masquerading As Journalism

The Content Council on August 13, 2018 - 10:00 am in Brands

If the Chief Executive of a company wishes to promote in the media his or her own work and that of their colleagues’, there are basically two options. Relinquishing some control by submitting to an interview, which is the far more common route. Or retain all control by paying for and creating some advertising, a much rarer and less authentic strategy.

It used to be called advertorial. Except it is no longer advertorial and it is no longer much of a rarity. The best of it – content marketing, sponsored content, creative content, whatever the latest buzzword is – is a brilliant blend of both. It tells a story with journalistic integrity and also serves as a self-congratulatory piece of advertising.

The fact that it is still advertising doesn’t make the content any less valuable. Part of my post-journalistic career is spent helping brands and CEOs create authentic material which is unrecognisable from the bland, PR-inflected, corporate stuff businesses have been churning out for decades. They’re stories not releases. But there’s never any doubt that it is the brand which creates and, hopefully, benefits.

And let’s be honest, it is advertising. Except not everyone is honest.

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