In a controversial move, tech and science publisher Purch is offering advertisers the Purch Performance Package, which allows them to sponsor pages that include editorial reviews of their products.
Purch’s sites – which include the likes of Live Science, Top 10 Reviews, and Space.com – are viewed by upward of 78 million visitors monthly, Ad Week reports. Test rollouts on Top 10 Reviews have seen a 10% to 20% click-through rate on ads, while the industry average for banners is between 0.2% and 0.5%.
“It’s a cleaner experience for the user. They get the content they are looking for, and the promotional content featured is much more related to the thing they were seeking out so the connection rate is very, very high,” Purch CRO Mike Kissberth tells Ad Week. “We could optimize these pages to channel interest in that category so they can reach the performance goal that the brand seeks.”
Some are expressing ethical concerns that the move seems to not only blur the line between editorial and advertising, but perhaps erase it completely, extending beyond typical native advertising content and potentially leading to editorial pressure to produce positive reviews.
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