Monocle EIC: 'All good journalists are good salespeople too'

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We absolutely never, ever use the term native advertising,” Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brûlé tells Alex Kantrowitz about his publication's embrace of branded content.

If the company’s infrastructure blurs the church-and-state divide between editorial and sales, it’s by design. Editors accompany ad directors on sales calls. “I’m of the opinion that all good journalists are good salespeople too,” Brûlé said. While the ad team discusses pricing and tries to close the business, editors give Monocle’s potential clients insight into the publication’s editorial calendar and explain the reasoning behind certain editorial decisions.

The payoff? A campaign for Samsung "brought in roughly one million dollars and native ads can, depending on the month, account for up to one quarter of Monocle’s total revenue," Kantrowitz reports.

Skift CEO Rafat Ali put together a slideshow of lessons he drew from Monocle's print native ads: "Mixing native edit with native ads," he writes. "Product placement at its best."

Amanda Fox-Rouch spoke with former (and final) Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton about native advertising, including the Post's "Sponsored Views" program, through which advertisers can place commentary responding to opinion pieces. "No matter how you look at it, no matter how well crafted and artful, brand journalism is advertising pure and simple," Pexton said. "That doesn't mean it doesn't have its place, but it ain't journalism."

Related: Various people define the term "native advertising"

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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