Native advertising can be a murky — and if not done right, illegal — business. Just ask Microsoft.
Microsoft recently signed a sponsored content deal with YouTube network Machinima to promote the Xbox One gaming console. As part of the deal, Machinima recruited some YouTube creators to post videos positively promoting Microsoft’s product in exchange for ad dollars.
One problem: a number of the sponsored videos didn’t disclose that they were sponsored, as first reported by tech news site Ars Technica. That could draw scrutiny from an already hawkish Federal Trade Commission, which issued rules on the matter in 2009.