- Purch, the online tech and science publisher of Live Science, Top 10 Reviews, and Space.com, has launched a new native ad product that further blurs lines between ad and editorial.
- The "Purch Performance Package" allows advertisers to sponsor a page that includes editorial reviews of their products. Reviews will remain objective, but the other content on the page will be selected by the advertiser.
- In tests on Top 10 Reviews, click through rates were 10% to 20%— compared to the industry average of 0.2% to 0.5%.
Clearly the tactic is working to Purch, but it does draw some ethical questions. Should editorial reviews — something that is supposed to be 100% objective — be included on a sponsored page? Regardless of Purch's claim that the reviews are objective, readers could interpret them otherwise. It could end up being a fine line for a publisher to walk.