It seems advertising is more and more disguising itself as news. We now have advertisements on the covers of magazines. We have advertisements for network programs inserted into network news stories. And we have advertisements in magazines and newspapers that are designed to look like articles—despite the small print that says “advertisement”.
One of the most misleading occurs on CNBC, a network devoted to financial news. Yet, it allows advertisements on financial issues to appear as if they are just another segment of the ongoing show. The CNBC example is especially disturbing because it seems to me to be directed at people who are anxious about their financial situation and who are consequently more likely to be taken in by the advertiser’s claims, perhaps not evaluating the claims as logically as they might if they were in better circumstances. Shame on you CNBC (and all the other stations and media who allow similar types of advertisements that are disguised as news)! You’re better than that, CNBC.
All of these instances seem to me to be designed to mislead the reader and viewer and are therefore unethical. All provide good examples (and a good project in media literacy) of how the media are looking to make a buck rather than present advertisements for what they are—advertisements. Apparently, money comes before truth and honesty.