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Tamara Piety

Killing the Golden Goose: Journalism and Sponsored Content

This paper argues that the practice of blending promotional and editorial content— “native advertising”— is destructive to both the advertisers’ aims and of the integrity of journalism. It forces a Hobson’s choice: allow governments to regulate media content for its truthfulness or else permit false and misleading promotional claims to be integrated into content without legal oversight. Advertisers use native advertising to boost their credibility; it is one of Edward Bernay’s “third-party techniques. But because its effectiveness depends on the continued distinctiveness of editorial content, its effectiveness will decrease over time as readers come to view editorial content the same way they do advertising.

Native advertising raises a host of questions with few good answers. In the long run native advertising does not seem to be good for any of the players or for the public. The question is whether the law can provide any meaningful obstacle to the practice.


Tamara Piety is the author of "Brandishing the First Amendment" and has written extensively on the problem with reconciling the regulation of corporate and commercial speech with the worldwide trend to extend more protection to it under freedom of expression principles. She is the Phyllis Hurley Frey Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa and an Affiliated Research Fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School.

Recent publications:

Why Personhood Matters, ___ CONSTITUTIONAL COMMENTARY ___ (2015). http://works.bepress.com/tamara_piety/36/

The Heroic Constitution and First Amendment Romanticism: A Response to Professors Redish & Neuborne, 92 TEX. L. REV. SEE ALSO 181 (2014). http://www.texaslrev.com/the-heroic-corporation-and-first-amendment-romanticism-a-response-to-professors-redish-and-neuborne/

“A Necessary Cost of Freedom”? The Incoherence of Sorrell v. IMS, 64 ALA. L. REV. 1 (2012). http://www.law.ua.edu/pubs/lrarticles/Volume%2064/Issue%201/1%20Piety%201%20-%2054.pdf

Sidansvarig: Christine Forssell|Sidan uppdaterades: 2015-08-12

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