Blurred lines are the talk of the media world. No, not that “Blurred Lines.” What advertisers, consumer groups, academics, and the FTC are trying to put into focus is the blending of ads with news, entertainment, and other content in digital media — sometimes called “native advertising” or “sponsored content.” That’s what’s up for discussion at a December 4, 2013, public workshop at the FTC. Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content? will explore ways that consumers get sponsored content online and in mobile apps. Do they understand what it is? Do they get what’s going on? Is it easy for them to differentiate a sales pitch from regular content?
FTC Chairwoman Ramirez will kick off the discussion. Other agenda highlights: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Professor Nicholas Lemann and Bob Garfield, co-host of On the Media. Panelists will address the current state of sponsored content, consumer perception of the phenomenon, and best practices toward transparency.
The workshop — it’s free and open to the public — is set for the FTC’s satellite building conference center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. in Washington, D.C. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.