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Nokia Lumia 1020 ads blur line between marketing and editorial in Sports Illustrated

Al Sacco | Aug. 27, 2013
Sports Illustrated magazine ran a number of images taken with the AT&T Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone in two of its August issues, followed by full-page Lumia ads. CIO.com's Al Sacco think SI should have been clearer about the line between ads and editorial content. Here's why.

I also understand that the traditional line between ads and editorial content is blurring. Gone are the days when you could look at an ad and know just what it was, or when you could expect to see high-quality editorial produced by unbiased journalists separated from marketing material. The equation just isn't a black and white one.

But these photos in SI seem like a new extreme. I cannot say for sure whether or not the images were paid for by AT&T and/or Nokia. (I have reached out to SI for comment, and I'll update this post accordingly when or if I get a response.) But the images sure seem like some kind of deceptive advertising, and as such, I don't like them. Assuming they are paid for - and that's just what I'm assuming - it's too bad AT&T, Nokia and SI didn't just mark them as advertising. The images are quite cool, and I don't think it would have made much of a difference to readers if they came with some fine print.

But as is, they feel manipulative, and that's probably not going to compel SI readers to run out and buy Lumia 1020 smartphones, great camera or no great camera.

 

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