I know what I think: I think that the ads should be so distinct (and funny, or pithy, or whatever tone) that no one could ever mistake them for user content. I'd hate to have to explain over and over that no, Gumbo is NOT recommending luggage sellers or tour companies, or--for that matter--kitchen remodeling in Britain. The creep over the line is so evident in the newspaper sales pitches for "rare" coins and various remedies dolled up to look like news articles.
Interesting. So ads that look like user generated content seem to strongly imply that the site is directly pushing the product. I will need to drop by Verizon or an Apple store, I suppose, to see how such ads appear to the viewer. Happily iPad and iPod free. iMan Overboard
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