Written Press, Amazon Help and Online Commerce – Acrimed

Digital has gradually transformed web versions of media into mega supermarkets. Sponsored content and commercials abound, and advertisements are booming. And in recent years, the marketing practice of “content-to-commerce” has gained more and more ground: media outlets publish shopping guides and other product analytics, integrating trade links with online commerce platforms. A thriving source of income.

In the face of eroding advertising revenue and newspaper sales, print media have long resorted to diversification processes to generate income. For example: organizing other events and “forums” for the benefit of public or private organizations [1]or even countries [2] ; Organizing cruises accompanied by “news stars”. [3] ; selling derivative products; advertisements, “partner supplements” and other content produced by the advertising departments of press groups; Partnerships with private foundations or GAFAM [4] Linked to in the context of specific editorial projects [5].

And in recent years, the practice of “content-to-commerce” marketing has increased, i.e. publishing buying guides, comparisons and product reviews that integrate merchants’ links to online commerce platforms. (Amazon, Cdiscount, Fnac, etc..). Obviously, a more aggressive form of audience monetization and an “editorial” form of advertising goes beyond ad blockers.

On November 15, 2021, Letter A signed a helpful questionnaire about these practices. The author explains it through Affiliate Agreements “, The media ” touch. Contact. Link[ent] Commission on every sale generated by “tracked” links “:” Between 5% and 15% for high-tech, home appliances and travel, the three most popular categories to date. [Les médias] They often require, in addition, a guaranteed minimum of several thousand euros per subject. The legitimacy and authority of this public media in dealing with its readers encourage brands to pay such sums. »

This content may appear in the “Guides to Buy” or “Service” sections of the major digital interfaces, “but sometimes in conjunction with editorial articles.”

example in Globalism :

at Parisian :

or for figaro :

Small business will become big

The letter A indicates that in the case of GlobalismThe practice is relatively recent, and it was started in 2018 through a partnership with Wirecutter, a product comparison tool founded in 2011 and since 2016, owned by The New York Times Group. And to listen carefully to the evening daily, it is just a matter of “being in service”: “ Finding and choosing the best products has never been so difficult, especially on the Internet where information is abundant but of uneven quality. »(the worldApril 2020). that the world Encouraging consumption, promoting e-commerce and receiving commissions on products purchased on platforms known for their impeccable tax practices and payroll policies? which – which” It funds our writing and contributes to the editorial independence and impartiality of our recommendation articles. The merchant sites we refer to have been chosen in order to offer low prices and to offer a variety of merchants likely to match our readers’ consumer preferences. ” All is well…

Tempted by the rise of online commerce at the time of the Covid crisis, the French editorial staff also wants to speed up the movement. This is the case Parisianwho is already sanctified Six people full time for commercial management and reference to this content. The daily Ile-de-France is currently working on more profitable formats, which will invite its readers to fill in their contact details, for example, articles recommending a bank or insurance, a housing offer or even an energy supplier. This valuable data will then be resold to the advertiser who ordered the item, or to whomever pays the highest price. »

the world It will not be bypassed since, according to the letter A, ” The daily Al-Massa has contacted several content agencies in recent months to offer to write such articles Aiming to sell products or services. Sports press and regional daily press are also in the game: “ L’Equipe and Nice-Matin are also planning to launch. Other regional newspapers have already taken the lead, such as La Provence, Le Dauphiné Liberated or Ouest-France, ready to give a new impetus. “Not to mention the magazine press which obviously,” Also wants its share of the pie: Reworld media advertising agency (Closer, Télé Star, Science & Vie…) was launched in October [2021] Her show, four months after her first competition, is Prisma Media (Capital, Current Woman, Gala…). »

The media’s appetite is further stimulated because the practice is profitable. ParisIt should generate 1.5 million euros in 2021, compared to 570,000 euros in 2019 “While you already see the Altice group” several million euros every year thanks [articles qui promeuvent des produits] On BFM-TV, RMC and 01net The letter A emphasizes. More importantly, this type of practice covers many variations. The letter “A” in particular refers to the existence of “promotional codes” and discount coupons including “ search […] Generates high traffic on the search engine ”, which leads, if necessary, to the creation of new committees for newspapers. The author says: “ While many general newspapers and magazines offer this service on their sites, Le Parisien is the first to have it directly. », since 2021:

Services that can also be found around . digital pages Globalism :

Obviously, this re-conversion means adapting publishers’ business centers to their marketing agendas. In 2018, we already noticed a commitment figaro For the benefit of advertisers at the time of Valentine’s Day. Thus, the Christmas holidays, “Black Friday” and other selling periods are punctuated by the respective media calendar.

Finally, it is worth noting that the activity of “affiliation” – ancillary to advertising centers for brands and companies – is booming: a market estimated at more than 250 million euros [6]Which obviously has an impact on the world of media and the professions of “journalism”. The letter “A” already indicates that ” The vast ecosystem of content agencies and their armies of freelance writers […] Newspaper and magazine service. Created at the end of 2018 by Pierre-Antonny Dugor, former CEO of 01net who worked at Cdiscount, AR/Factory collaborates eg with Capital, Ouest France, Le Parisien and Le Dauphiné Libéré. Not to mention that some of this ‘assigned content’ is produced in-house: situations” Affiliate Journalists It has already become popular in the groups Prisma Media and Condé Nast (QGAnd joyAnd Vanity FairAnd Vogue magazineetc.)

On this point and more generally about “local advertising”, we should also refer to the Arrêt sur image survey (“Your favorite media makes ads pass for articles”, May 29, 2021), and the research paper Charlie Hebdo At the content production agency A/R Factory, mentioned above (“A/R Factory, the content agency that kills,” April 2, 2021).


worthy journalist “The SNJ Code of Ethics says,” He refuses and fights in violation of his professional ethics, any confusion between journalism and communication “.” Phishing ads ‘, Offer to stop the photos (“Hidden ad: It has been proven, the media is destroying its credibility”, May 31, 2021).

Journalism and propaganda cannot be mixed. Yesterday was hosted on the sidelines of articles, advertising over time evolved into articles. Despite press groups’ demands for the transparency and independence of editorial staff regarding the mall, one has the right to wonder to what extent they will be able to continue to inform the public about the companies whose products and services they rent. But whatever the case may be, it will not answer the basic problem: By publishing articles to promote excessive consumption, the media actually reinforce the dominant ideology; By transforming their digital interfaces into supermarkets, the media have become full-fledged players in online commerce. A practice that is getting more problematic with the increased focus of the media, with the maneuvers of major shareholders/industrialists who have everything to gain from this mix of genres.

However alarming they may be, such developments are not surprising, as they are encouraged by the permanent position of public authorities regarding non-interference in the world of media and information production; The media themselves praised it. in july, le Figaro He welcomed, for example, the findings of a survey on “press work efficiency,” that is, the tangible (and strong) impact of newspapers on consumption. In the context of increasing information impoverishment and human and economic bleeding in newsrooms [7] And the productivity imposed on the rest, business centers for the media predict open prospects …

Benjamin Laggis

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