9 November 2015

How can fashion ​media blend editorial integrity with commercial interests?

The Issue

How can fashion ​media blend editorial integrity with commercial interests? 

Fashion bloggers are often criticised for taking gifts or being paid outright to endorse brands and products without coming clean to their audiences about the incentives at work behind the scenes. But the issue of safeguarding editorial integrity in the face of commercial interests is not new to fashion media. Nor is it specific to Internet-based publications. Print magazines also publish editorial content that reflects the interests (and contains the products) of their biggest advertisers. In some markets, publications must clearly disclose paid advertising content. But more often than not, editorial coverage is tacitly — rather than contractually — agreed with advertisers, making commercial influence hard to track.

In recent years, the rise of 'sponsored content' and other forms of native advertising has further blurred the line between editorial content and commercial communications. Many top publishers have launched 'branded content' arms, which leverage editors to create paid, editorial-style content for advertising clients. Meanwhile, leading retailers have begun publishing magazine-like content of their own in order to better attract consumers and channel them seamlessly to their products.

As the challenge to blend creative and commercial content in a way that resonates with consumers continues, what does this mean for the relationship between fashion media and its most valuable asset: the audience? Are commercial interests diluting the editorial point of view on which powerful media brands are built? ​

How can fashion ​media blend editorial integrity with commercial interests?

Context
Opinions
Jeremy Langmead Brand and Content Director, Mr Porter

Op-Ed | Is Church and State Obsolete?

With the rise of shopable magazines and a new hybrid business model built around retail, advertising and newsstand sales, Jeremy Langmead, editor-in-chief of Mr Porter, argues that it's time to dispense with the pretense of 'church and state' divisions between the commercial and editorial sides of a fashion media business.

Top Comments
Trust is earned, not automatic.
By Dwayne Moholitny
I would love to read, either in print or on the web, an honest and blistering review of the current state of fashion.
By A H
I think we have come to a point the audience is smart enough to realize when the media use sponsored items.
By Anouk Bosma

What's your opinion?