The Difference Between Editorial And Advertising

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OK, I admit it. This is a bit of a rant. But, if you remember, I did officially document that “The Blog’s” authors did retain the right to rant occassionally, should the need arise.

This is your good and sufficient notice that I am exercising that right. 😉

If you’ve spent any time surfing around this site, you’ll have noticed that UltimateFatBurner.com is supported by advertising (generated by Google (Google Adsense), Chitika, and Kontera).

It is, unfortunately, a necessary evil.

UltimateFatBurner.com is a massive resource. It’s my full time job. I have several staff members, and frequently outsource programming, design and technical work. Considering that reality, UltimateFatBurner.com has to generate revenue in order to be sustainable. In order to do so, I have three options…

1) Acquire a full-time job, and build UltimateFatBurner.com in my part time.

2) Instead of providing unbiased, balanced reviews, we could do what every other “review” site on the Net does; recommend every single product we look at and earn massive commissions by sending visitors to products that don’t work and that we don’t believe in.

3) Charge a membership fee to access the site’s material.

4) Feature advertising on the web site.

Obviously, numbers one and two aren’t real options. Working a full time would prevent me from building this into the sort of resource my visitors deserve. And I wouldn’t be able to afford to hire the calibre of staff I am privileged to enjoy, or outsource critical technical solutions to the appropriate professionals.

Option two is unethical and immoral (outside of that, it’s hardly a smart or sustainable business model).

Opion 3 might sound like a good idea, but considering that we are, first and foremost, a consumer advocate web site, any solution that limits the number of people who can access this critical material is counter-productive.

Advertising, therefore, makes the most sense. It’s WIN-WIN…

UltimateFatBurner.com remains free for our visitors. We can devote our full efforts to the site. Additionally, I can hire the required professionals necessary to ensure this resource maintains the highest standards of quality and integrity.

For some visitors, however, featuring advertising (that often runs contradictory to our written messages) on our web pages is an egregious violation of all things that are good and decent. I have received, over the years, more than a few messages from individuals who have been absolutely enraged by this.

Hello?

As pointed out a moment ago, advertising is an unfortunate, but necessary evil. Not just online, but in print publications like magazines, newspapers, on radio and on television. It’s a trade-off. In the case of UltimateFatBurner.com, we provide you with real, unbiased, and fully researched reviews. Complete with the appropriate clinical references.

All FREE.

And this is not a 5-minute job. Each review often takes several hours to research and put together.

In return, to cover our costs, we display advertising on our web pages.

Most people I know don’t turn apoplectic with anger when a newspaper that runs a tragic story on a drinking and driving accident on page 2 runs a Smirnoff or Budweiser ad on page 5. They don’t flip out because an Ambien commercial follows a TV documentary on the prevalence of prescription drugs.

That’s because they recognize the difference between editorial and advertising.

The author of the tragic “drinking & driving” article is not condoning or encouraging such behaviour because his/her article appears prior to an ad for alcohol. Now I will agree with this; in a perfect world, no such advertising would be necessary. But this is not a perfect world.

And yes, occasionally, you will see adds on UltimateFatBurner.com that run contrary to the messages delivered within the text on its pages.

This is the difference between advertising and editorial content. Yes, just like the magazines and newspapers.

One point that those who write nasty letters fail to recognize is that we would earn much more from ad revenue if we wrote material that did not conflict with, or contradict the material being displayed in the ads.

Frankly, if you read our material, see a conflicting ad in the margin, click on it and buy the product, there’s not anything we-nor anyone else for that matter-can do to help you. If you can’t be bothered to read the editorial message and simply click on an ad, you are generating the revenue (even though it is the advertiser, and not you, who pays for the ad) necessary to maintain this site so people who do read our material, can!

In the end, I always finish up my response the same way…

“Hey, there’s a lot of web sites on the Internet. If you can’t stomach advertising, I welcome you to find the same quality UNBIASED material of somewhere else for free. Be my guest.”

And then, I have a hard time suppressing a modified Arnold Schwarzenegger line…

“You’ll be back!”

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1 Comment

  1. FWIW, this is a fact of life on virtually all the sites I spend time on. For example, I read political blogs that have, at times, run ads for the opposition party, or for causes that are 180 degrees from the stand the site owners/authors have taken on the issue.

    C’est la vie.

    The only alternative to offering free content is to limit it to paid subscribers only – which defeats the purpose of trying to get valid, science-based information into the hands of as many people as possible.

    An ad is exactly that: an ad – not an endorsement.

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