BuzzFeed’s native political ads may cross a line as readers often can’t tell the difference between native ads and editorial content

BuzzFeed is one of the most prominent online publishers to offer sponsored content for political candidates, which Jack Murtha and Chava Gourarie write “could herald in a new marriage between political ad spending and journalism.” However, some think the native political ads may cross a line as research finds readers struggle to distinguish between sponsored content and editorial content. Editorial director of Politico Focus Stephanie Losee says reporting and fact-checking are key to the success of this kind of sponsored content: “The one thing that I would not do, that Politico would not do, is to mislead or trick a reader. The goal is to inform our reader with full transparency.”