Understandably, “advertorial” – the overlap of advertising and editorial – has a bad rap. The practice started at newspapers and magazines going back to the first half of the 20th century. Publication writers would create bylined articles in an editorial voice for advertisers.
The pieces read like and looked like regular editorial content. They sought to pull the wool over reader eyes about a cozy relationship that violated the church-and-state, arm’s length relationship of editorial and advertising.
The practice then popped up in other media, with infomercials, for example, playing on radio and televisions.