A new low with Herald’s native advertising

The NZ Herald has jumped donkey deep into native advertising as a way to shore up their flagging revenues.

For those who don’t know native advertising is advertising that is disguised as news.

The latest effort from the NZ Herald sets a new low….they are using the war records of dead heroes to sell the ASB Bank and Auckland Council.

They call it “content partnership” but I’ll lay dollars to a knob of goat poo that the partnership works like this. ASB Bank and Auckland Council pay NZ Herald, NZ Herald takes some information and gets a journalist to write it up, and the NZ Herald publishes it as news….the only winners here are the NZ Herald…they score revenue.

native advertising

The disclaimer is tacked onto the bottom of the article.  

I started reading it because of my interest in war heroes, and personal sacrifice of soldiers…and now I am angry at the subterfuge.

native2Using the sacrifice of soldiers, mostly all dead now to sell a bank and give out a good vibe for the bank is despicable. Worse still is the Herald featuring this story and publishing it like it is news.

The article itself is full of hyperbole and mis-information.

The sub heading claims:

Bank supported its workers in the fight in Europe. Many did not come home.

The facts are:

During World War II, the ASB had grown to a full-time staff of 90; 74 of them left New Zealand shores to fight against Germany and Japan; five did not return.

Many did not return? The actual number is 5…just 6% of the workforce who left didn’t return. That isn’t “many” as is claimed.

It was a repeat, on a larger scale, of the bank’s efforts during World War I. When Anzac troops landed at Gallipoli in 1915, ASB had 30 staff. Half left to fight; three did not return.

The toll was greater in the First World War in terms of percentages, 3 out of 15, but still not “many”.

“Some” would have been better but that is just being picky.

You really do have to wonder how much the Auckland Council and ASB Bank are paying for this “content partnership”. But it seems to be a bit of a theme, on Friday the NZ Herald ran another piece about the bank…again in a “content” partnership”, this time it was about how nice they are, and where they started with humble beginnings. It is sick inducing.

It is a shameful development though, and one that leaves me wondering whether or not I should remain a customer of the ASB Bank.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.