1) Circuit City Has Some Great Deals!
This item could ostensibly be content, terrible content, if the author of the piece were genuinely trying to share the news that Circuit City has some great deals. However, if Circuit City paid for or otherwise influenced the creation of this item, it’s advertising! Fortunately, the genesis of such list items is kept behind closed doors, and the profits generated by the insidious inclusion of advertising into content are unknown to readers. “What rough beast, its hour come round at last/Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” Why, the hegemony of privatized social discourse!
2) This Country Needs Immigration Reform!
So, this one seems like news, an opinion piece maybe, by someone who wants to share their political views. But actually, it could easily be advertising, a list item created and paid for by a lobbying group whose clients would benefit from the position championed therein. Cool!
3) Burger King pairs really well with Mt. Dew
Okay, so this one seems like advertising, right? Wrong! In fact, the listicle writer, without any influence to produce this item from the companies mentioned, is so inundated with giant brand names and a consumer lifestyle that he or she has created this item of his or her own volition, in a sad display of loyalty to the only cult remaining in this hellish nightmare world.
This list item, while technically advertising, since it was paid for by an anti-Democrat group looking to communicate their message to young people by hopping on the I Can Haz Cheezeburger craze, wasn’t considered so by its author, who unironically agrees with the message and therefore totally isn’t compromising his or her ethics by posting it.
5) Feedbuzz Voted Social Media Site of the Century
How can you advertise the very site you’re writing for? By constantly referencing it, expounding its vast reach and influence, and only, of course, running uncritical articles about it, couching its ruthless business practices in socially acceptable catchphrases such as “offering amazing opportunities for corporate sponsorship”, “taking care of investors” and “MURDER MURDER MURDER MURDER”. Don’t forget to partner with other sites for a circlejerk that increases everyone’s profits! Team up! Synergy! Pledge your soul to Our Dark Lord and deliver unto him the blood of the innocent to bring your wicked magic to life!
6) A Memorial Tribute to 9/11: Remembering the Never Forgotten
This one’s gotta be content, right. No one would use the horrible tragedy of 9/11, not to mention the series of horrible tragedies enacted since it happened, as a way to push clickthroughs to advertisers and also propagate an ideological myth about America and its role in the world. Haha, of course they would! And why not. Business is business, and that means doing whatever you can, with whomever you can, to make as much money as possible for as long as possible. RIP to the victims, tho.
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