OLD Media Moves

CNET sells reporter’s review to company as an ad

August 20, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Tech news site CNET has sold a reporter’s review of a Samsung phone to the company eight months after it was published as an ad, reports Brian Morrissey of Digiday.

Morrissey writes, “This past April, CNET senior editor Jessica Dolcourt reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone. Under the headline ‘The everything phone for (almost) everyone,’ the CNET veteran journalist gave the device 4.5/5 stars in a detailed, mostly positive review. She did have reservations about the Galaxy S4’s dim screen and ‘cheaper look’ compared to rivals like the iPhone.

“Fast forward eight months: Dolcourt’s review is now part of a new advertising product CNET sold to Samsung, which purchased the right to promote the editorial review through ‘CNET Replay.’ Visitors to CNET yesterday saw a paid promotion of the review on the homepage, in the midst of the site’s ‘river’ of editorial pieces, called out in a shaded box with a ‘CNET Replay’ label on the thumbnail photo. Clicking on the advertising link takes users to the original review.

“Welcome to the brave new world of native advertising, where publishers are trying to come up with twists that go beyond standard ads and that carry the whiff of editorial credibility. For an advertiser like Samsung, the (mostly) positive CNET review is probably worth more than a display ad bought on the site. CNET Replay has enabled Samsung, Intel, Microsoft and Lenovo to promote positive reviews for their products long after they were published.

“‘More and more, consumers are seeking guidance from trusted third parties,’ Kevin Berman, director of North American marketing for Lenovo, said in a statement. ‘Some look for what other consumers are saying, while many rely on well-respected industry experts for their help.'”

Read more here.

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