The New Yorker posted a video ad for Oppenheimer Funds on its official Instagram feed this afternoon, prompting followers to debate branded content in the post’s comments section.
Although the paid post was clearly labeled as such, many of the mild and well-worded comments (plus the occasional expletive and sad-face emoji) expressed anger that the august magazine would use the social media network to inflict advertising on its fans:
“What the bloody hell, New Yorker….”
“I feel cheated @newyorkermag. I did not expect an ad where your content is supposed to be.”
“I don’t want to have to unfollow, but I will if you keep posting ads.”
“How poor are you Eustace?”
“If this keeps up I’ll have to unfollow.”
“This is very undignified”
But other comments showed a more sophisticated understanding of the current state of media:
“Oh people get over it. It’s these ads that bring you the new yorker in the first place. Grow up.”
“I’ll put up with ads. I live in fear that they will stop publishing the print version of The New Yorker. It’s the only mag I crave.”
“Lol people complaining about ads on a free service.”
“Ohhh Grow up people & stop trying to be popular….journalists need to eat and be secured in their jobs. This is no different than a print ad in the magazine…did the print ads ruin your experience with the magazine? how does this ruin your Instagram? be realistic…I will keep reading @newyorkermag. This does not dilute my experience or your image in my eyes.”
Of course, considering other branded content strategies currently underway at Condé Nast, posting an ad on Instagram may seem pretty benign. But messing with The New Yorker (and, by extension New Yorker readers) is particularly tricky.
Despite the complaints, the post got over 500 likes in less than an hour.