Re: What's an Advertorial?

Subject: Re: What's an Advertorial?
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 1994 09:09:53 -0500


This is written in reply to your comments on my response to some poor
soul's innocent question on advertorial writing:

<Phillip-Morris has been using them [advertorials] to promote its ideas on
<"commercial free speech."

What is meant by this, I presume, is that Phillip-Morris is attempting to
legitimize its legal and public promotion of a toxic substance. I think this
still qualifies as "advertising disguised as"...whatever. (read "propaganda by
any other name is still...")

No, it's not disguised, and that's what makes it different from the other
examples people gave. If memory serves, the company insignia on the Mobil
ads consumed fully one-third of the advertising space; Phillip Morris
"signs" its advertorials with its own florid logo, and Eddie Chiles used to
sign off "This has been Eddie Chiles, President of the Western Company." (I
always envisioned him spitting and wandering off through a forest of
drilling rigs immediately afterwords, but that's probably just me.)

Unlike the other examples, my understanding of an advertorial looks like
what it is; a corporation's public position on a matter of public policy.
It's not trying to "hide" as a feature story of any kind, and is written
in the essay/editorial format, which is different.

For the record, I'm dubious about the concept of "commercial free speech."
Rights, I think, belong to people, not to legal fictions, but I don't want
to start a long off-subject thread. If you or others reading this want to
discuss the topic, message me direct at my address, which is included in
my sig block.

Doug "All business activity is a struggle
ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com between Greed and Fear. Incorporation
means that, in this organization, Fear
has won."

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