- Shape magazine is under scrutiny for running a editorial-looking native ad for one of its own products, Shape Water Boosters.
- The National Advertising Division, an investigative arm of the self-regulating advertising branch of the Better Business Bureau, issued a ruling last week saying Shape "blurred the line between advertising and editorial."
- The publisher defended the article saying that the connection between brand and the content of the article was obvious and didn't need additional labeling.
This case highlights the trickiness of native advertising. On one hand, the publisher should have the right to advertise how it chooses in its own publication. On the other hand, the publisher does have a responsibility to avoid deceiving readers with ads disguised as editorial. This case could set precedent for other publishers in the future.