Welcome. This is the website for an academic research and networking project supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). The central aim of the network project is to facilitate collaboration between academics and industry professionals to explore branded content practices and their media policy implications.
Across digital media new forms of integrated advertising are developing rapidly. Boundaries between media and advertising are being tested, crossed, redefined, and erased. Pressures on marketers to find effective ways to reach prospective purchasers and pressures on media to attract advertising finance and accommodate marketers are occurring in contexts of disruption and change in markets, in policy and in creative communications practices and use. The emergence of new forms and practices of integrated advertising raise a host of issues ranging from consumer awareness to editorial independence and creative autonomy.
The merging of media and advertising is advancing rapidly across corporate ownership, work practices and values, media forms, user engagements and (co)creation. The internet’s evolving forms have intensified the challenges to the separation of editorial and advertising that were already being felt across the legacy media of print and television.
Most of the discussion of branded content to date has been between industry practitioners. Yet, the issues of media and marketing integration affect us all in different ways, as content consumers, as content producers, and as citizens. The Branded Content Research Network will help to inform and promote discussion across a very wide range of interests and perspectives.