This (Almost) Bilked America

Fara Warner, editorial director of AOL Tech, shared some interesting behind-the-scenes insights about working with big brands on the production of branded content. In this case, it is AOL’s new series, “This Built America,” which is sponsored by auto giant Ford.

The series, which features short video vignettes profiling and chronicling companies and organizations that are the unsung heroes of American industry, is produced with 100% editorial integrity, Warner said, adding, “You will never see a Ford truck drive through any of our videos.”

Speaking on a panel at the Content Marketing Insider Summit this morning, Warner conceded that it makes her “uncomfortable” working as an editorial director with big brand marketers on the development of brand content, but she says she applies good, old fashioned rules of “church and state.”

For example, when Ford’s marketing team recently asked Warner’s team to remove another brand -- a profile on Detroit manufacturer Shinola -- she said they held the line and rejected the request on editorial grounds.
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