Intel, Huffington Post, Native Advertising & The Sociopathic Business Model™
February 16, 2016
February 18, 2016, below original
Journalists, have an ethical obligation to disclose if they are pitching (that’s a marketing term for selling an idea for a product) and not reporting to the public. And real journalists don’t pitch products, ever. Compromising journalist integrity isn’t a problem for journalists without integrity, news outlets without integrity or companies that associate with both without integrity. Paige Cooperstein wrote in October 2013, Native Advertising: How it Works at Huffington Post
According to Lauri Baker, the sales director for branded content at The Huffington Post, the goal of native advertising is to encourage brands to build ongoing conversations between the customer and the brand. The way for that conversation to happen is for a sponsor to pay for a Huffington Post Partner Studio team member to write a pop culture listicle, compile a high-res photo slide show or design an infographic.
Opps…except consumers don’t necessarily know that Huffington Post, along with the sponsored brand, manipulated facts without shame, remorse, guilt or accountability. Native Advertising is only ethical if consumers know they’re reading an ad, and not actually researched unbiased journalism.
On any given day, the Huffington Post publishes three or four pieces of sponsored content. The sponsor also gets a say in what banner ads are displayed around its content, which Gould said increases the efficacy of the banner ads.
The content (and I’m using that term loosely) remains long after another sponsor takes over the banner ads. Meaning just because a story, where a consumer product is mentioned, doesn’t correspond with the day’s banner ad, doesn’t mean the it wasn’t paid native advertising, it just means its an older piece. Most likely, as with all advertising, they negotiate out a specific number of days with the banner ad, and, depending on the price, the article will remain for 30, 60 or 90 days (if not permanently). Everything in advertising has a price, including you, only unethical journalists, news outlets and companies don’t want you to know about it.
The content looks editorial because that’s what readers will respond to, Baker said. Producing sponsored content even involves the normal steps a journalist would take: pitching several ideas, reporting on the chosen topic and finally writing a post. The only difference in the case of native advertising is the journalist pitches, reports and writes for a paying sponsor instead of for an editor.
Well then, that’s not journalism that’s ad sales. Soft selling manipulation doesn’t make it any more ethical in fact it makes it even more unethical. Knowingly and willingly manipulating consumers for profit without shame, remorse, guilt or accountability is The Sociopathic Business Model™. Julia Allison’s February 14, 2016, article posted on the Huffington Post Tech Blog, Smart Love: The Future Smart Home Promises to Help Us Unplug:
Could a smart thermostat reduce the divorce rate? Could a connected fridge be the key to unlocking relationship woes? According to the findings of a new survey commissioned by Intel, a quarter of Americans believe it can. The report goes on to hint that in the future, the all encompassing phrase “IoT” won’t just stand for the Internet-of-Things, it will herald in a new terminology, built around the idea of the “Intimacy-of-Things.” In other words, things (and their endless maintenance) would no longer block, but actually aid our intimacy.
#ForcedAccountability (sort of)
A new survey commissioned by Intel? Was Julia Allison also commissioned by Intel? A questioned I asked at the end of the article (my comment was removed and then later re-added). I also asked via Twitter, to Intel, Intel (Internet of Things) and Huffington Post Tech, all without responses.
— Judas Goldstein™ (@UnofficialJudas) February 16, 2016
Unlike Intel’s purchasing of Lady Gaga’s Grammy performance, native advertising is much more subtle and dangerous.
— Intel (@intel) February 16, 2016
This may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is, and here’s why from KS a software engineer (who, understandably due to his refreshing candor, prefers not to disclose his real name):
“IoT” is one of the biggest buzzwords in tech right now. So much so that I am absolutely sick of hearing about it. To me, it means tech execs putting wifi in every product they can think, along with a minimally secure OS and then using words like “cloud”, “connectivity”, and “synergy” to sell it to you. Think toasters (for real now), fridges, washing machines, light bulbs, hair dryers, tvs (done and done), egg timers, baby monitors, security cams, body sensors, etc.
The super dystopian view here is that when every device in your home can be used as a microphone/camera/sensor to spy on you, and hacking said device is trivial because they were rushed products with little attention paid to security and you cannot update them, we open ourselves up to a horrible future where we cannot escape omnipresent surveillance, even in our own homes. Are you cool with Google knowing when you are/aren’t home? Do you have a Nest thermostat? What about when that is the only kind they make any more?
Personally, I find the whole thing very distasteful and laughably Silicon Valley branch tone-def. With ever-widening income disparity, people in the lower to middle classes are not going to be concerned with getting a wifi-enabled refrigerator. They don’t even own their house you c*nt! People in my East Bay neighborhood are already in debt, struggling to just buy healthy groceries and maintain a reasonable comfort of living in this stupid area. What do you think their reaction would be to “Hey, I bet you’d love to upgrade your sewage pipes so they automatically call your plumber and unlock your door when they leak!” Hahah!
Julia Allison tends to unethically gloss over that your connected Intel wifi refrigerator of the future may also be providing personal information back to the company. Do you really want someone in marketing knowing you opened your refrigerator 15 times from midnight to 6 am? For those that are worried about the government becoming Big Brother, think about inviting devices into your home like a personal data sucking vampire. Think about someone remotely, without your knowledge, turning on the camera on your computer and smartphone (the government already has this capability) but does the maker of your baby monitor need that capability?
Somehow I don’t think Intel will pay you, the consumer, for your continued market data research, let alone disclose the possibility, considering we can’t get confirmation on whether the Julia Allison’s Huffington Post piece was in fact, native advertising or not. It’s a slippery slope, which requires consumers to question whether someone is really a journalist or just a shill in cheap clothing.
— Melayna Lokosky (@MelaynaLokosky) February 16, 2016
I already know I would never do business with or recommend clients work with the unethical Julia Allison, I already know that because Huffington Post supports a known child rapist, Marc Gafni I find them unethical beyond reproach, and now I can add Intel to the list of unethical companies I would not buy from or recommend clients buy from, first by association and second by not coming clean, one way or the other, about native advertising. It’s up to each person reading this to make the best decisions professionally, personally and for their families. If you have questions reach out to Julia Allison , Huffington Post Tech, Intel and Intel (Internet of Things) and ask questions they may not want to answer, which could be your answer!
UPDATED: February 18, 2016
I reached out to Huffington Post Tech Editor Damon Beres who requested from Twitter that I email him which I did and when he didn’t respond via email, I took to Twitter to show him my email, still no verbal response.
— Melayna Lokosky (@MelaynaLokosky) February 17, 2016
Today, on a site dedicated to forcing accountability from Julia Allison, RBD, the site noted the Julia Allison/Huffington Post Tech/Intel piece is no longer available online. It’s tough to know if this is conclusive, #ForcedAccountability because we’re dealing with a proven unethical journalist and a proven unethical news outlet; but, it’s enough information for me to know that I’ll personally add Intel’s Internet of Things to the list of unethical.