The Atlantic’s —infamous— Scientology ad is exaclty where publishing advertising should never evolve towards. In contrasts with the NYT efforts this was an easy way out.
It’s understandable that The Atlantic would inevitably touch a third rail with any “new” ad format. But what it calls “native advertising” is actually “advertorial.” It’s not new at all. Touching the third rail in this case is unacceptable.
An The Atlantic no only failed to deliver quality content, it also fear of users opinions and decided to censor them.
No matter how laughably “sales-y” a piece of sponsored content might be, the censoring of readership should be the true “third rail,” never to be touched. —Schafer: Atlantic’s Scientology ad