AOL advertising is deeply in the doldrums, so what is the hot new thing to add some spark? Custom publishing.
Advertisers also are pushing for a presentation that some feel blurs the line between advertising and editorial. Sony Corp.’s Sony Electronics Inc. recently caused a stir when it placed a series of ads designed to resemble news articles, written by free-lance writers hired by Sony. The articles profile people who use Sony products, such as digital cameras, and appear on America Online’s travel channel under the heading “a feature by Sony.” Sony Electronics spokeswoman Lois Catala said the ads were designed based on guidelines published by the American Society of Magazine Editors.