In a bold display of native advertising, a personal-injury firm that represents victims of faulty General Motors ignition switches sponsored two stories about ignition switch fails in the Daily Mail's website, MailOnline, last week. The firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, also surrounded the posts with its banner ads, including one beginning with: "Does you GM car have a faulty ignition system?"
The ads look like typical Daily Mail stories except for a disclaimer above the byline that says, "Sponsored by Weitz & Luxenburg" (which is misspelled).
The first post, which ran on Sept. 10, called attention to the number of cars with faulty ignition switches that may still be on the road. The second, posted two days later, was about a lawsuit brought by the family of a nurse who was killed in an accident. The story did not say what firm represented the family.
MailOnline's CEO for North America, former Buzzfeed executive Jon Steinberg, has been pushing to get more advertisers for the publication by offering cheap prices. In August, he told Ad Age "We're the underdog, the up and comer, and I'm super flexible." If this latest campaign by Weitz & Luxenberg is any indication, his plan might be working.
Weitz & Luxenberg declined to comment. MailOnline also declined to comment.