Oh CBC, Please, Don’t

From the article, Current, former CBC employees condemn corporation’s branded-content initiative – from ironically enough The Globe and Mail – a company name-checked in the article as being one of many “private news organizations [that] have developed robust branded content initiatives.

Hundreds of current and former staff, including Peter Mansbridge, Linden MacIntyre, Gillian Findlay, Bob McKeown and Adrienne Clarkson, are expressing “grave concerns” over CBC/Radio-Canada Tandem, a new venture that works with marketers to create and publish what is known as branded content, or paid content: advertising that looks or sounds like regular editorial coverage.

Tandem was unveiled to the advertising community last month, with CBC/Radio-Canada’s new chief revenue officer, Donald Lizotte, promising in a news release it would “leverage the credibility of our network.” The pitch proposed that Tandem content could appear on most of the broadcaster’s English- and French-language platforms, including the CBC website, podcast pages and audio apps, and TV networks – among them, CBC News Network.

This sounds like a terrible idea. Then again, maybe my current frame of mind is biased.

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