My brother was approached by a London based online marketing company to advertise on this personal website. He is a molecular biologist and content is all about exciting stuff like… nuclear processing to export, editing, splicing, translation, localisation and stability, RNA interference and non-coding RNAs.
They asked him to place some text in a specific paragraph of a specific page, linking to a health related website which has very little to do with what my brother’s content is about. Health and biology are related, but in this case distance cousins at best.
I got my brother to suggest an alternative position under a ‘Sponsored link’ heading and this is what they replied:
“As _____ only work with contextual, natural adverts, I would appreciate it if it’s not directly stated that our advert is an ‘advertisement’ by placing it under a sponsored link heading. We have found that a more discreet form of advertising is more successful than overt brand messages. I hope you understand.”
I wonder how much of this natural advertising is going on and what can be done to stop it.