I was reading the golackawanna website today, trying to catch up on some local news, when I spied a review of the Suzuki Kizashi. Now being mildly interested in cars, I thought to myself that this might make for an interesting diversion. I like reading car reviews, and while I'm not in the market for a car at the moment, who knows, I may find some useful tidbit and/or factoid.
Then I saw the word: Advertorial.
My initial reaction was a simple and straight forward "what the hell is an advertorial?". Then, as I am often fond of doing, I thought about it some more. Sure, I got the definition...Advertisement + Editorial. In other words, this was a paid opinion piece. Someone greased the golackwanna folks so that they would publish this mock review of the Suzuki Kizashi. Forget for a moment that this looked like a straight-off review, although the constant references to "J.D. Power award" came up time and time again. That was a dead give-away.
Side note: I think just about every piece of crap that Detroit has ever produced has won a J.D. Power award. I wouldn't be shocked if, going back to the 80's, JD. Powers marveled at the cutting edge engineering of the Chevrolet Citation.
So now I am left wondering just what place, if any, the "Advertorial" has on a real news site. Call me old fashioned but if an advertiser pays for space...be that space on paper or virtual...that is an advertisement. Calling it something else is, in my opinion, walking the edge of propriety.
Maybe this is a common practice in print journalism. Maybe I'm making too much out of this whole thing. Maybe I'm just tired. Who knows? Well I do know one thing: I am disappointed in the golackawanna folks.