Monday, September 16, 2013

Another case of 'Newsvertising', this time in the National Post

On the weekend we shared with you the cover of the Financial Post Magazine (pictured above).

It appeared on September 3rd, 2013 in the National Post newspaper and had a stunning headline: "THE SKY IS NOT FALLING - Why real estate doomsayers continue to be wrong"

Pretty powerful message. Forwarded as friendly 'chiding', it represents the quintessential example of media manipulation in real estate today. To the average person, this article appears to be a 'news story'. 

But as one of our faithful readers noticed in the comments section of yesterdays blog post, it's not a news article - it's an adverting feature; an advertisement dressed up to look like a news story.

Online, the article is contained in the "Special Sections' of the National Post (click on all images to enlarge):

For those who follow this blog regularly, when you see 'Special Sections', the spidey senses start to tingle. Google the article headline and you discover EXACTLY what this article is:

That's right. Google makes it very clear it's not a news article, its a newspaper ad, the content written by a real estate shill who paid to have it inserted in the paper.

Faithful readers will recall we covered a similar misleading article in the Vancouver Province back on March 26, 2013 and discussed it again here.

Desperate for advertising dollars, the mainstream media is increasingly willing to take paid advertisements and present them as actual news stories with little or no indication that what you are reading isn't real news.

Naturally the real estate industry will pay handsomely for the chance to mold public opinion under the guise of legitimate news. Who wouldn't when you dealing with an industry where Billions of dollars are spent based on 'consumer confidence'?

But when the print media sells it's journalistic integrity like this, is it all that surprising that they have become an unsustainable proposition?


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  1. I'm embarrassed to live in a country where this false hype is accepted by the masses, actively and legally peddled without consequence, and that people believe ever increasing home prices is a good thing. I turned off Global TV on Saturday morning as soon as they showed the weather sponsored by REMAX. They lost a viewer and the National Post lost yet another reader because of this.

  2. Wow, why isn't this illegal?

  3. Holy crap. I did not realize that was an advertisement, Whisperer. Good catch. Who has the time to sort through every aspect of the media barrage though? I mean, that must be the point. NOBODY has the time to discern truth from advertising anymore because our lives are usually just too busy. What a load of crap they are dishing out. Most people will never know though and so this is another success for the R/E cartels because most people will never see your post or even have time to digest the conclusion you arrived at. Sheesh.....I am pissed because I actually fell for it when I saw the story earlier.

  4. Anybody seen this month's issue of Moneysense ? It is a Canadian personal finance magazine and featured this month is "Where to buy now" with a rundown of the hottest neighborhoods in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. The front cover indicates it is an advertisement for Remax and the article is written by a realtor. You too can find out which neighbourhoods are set to soar in the next five years. They got all their data from the unbiased real estate boards of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.

  5. The National Post is suitable for wrapping fish or lining the bottom of a parrot cage.... unless of course you happen to find the foam-flecked blitherings of their kooky columnists a source of amusement.


    BTW, has that rag *ever* made any money.....? They practically give the thing away to new subscribers.

  6. With this kind of sh!t, no wonder the mainstream media are going down the toilet.

  7. It don't know about print media, but broadcast media is forbidden from doing this sort of thing. Aren't they? Time to file a complaint against Global?

    "5. (1) A licensee shall not broadcast

    (d) any false or misleading news."

  8. where you at Fazil

  9. And another example, this time in the Vancouver Sun:

  10. Wow ... just WOW. I happen to know the person who wrote this and she has ZERO affiliation with any real estate company. Sorry to burst your bubble.