Information, or Paid Advertising? Viewers Are the Last to Know

Keshet subsidiary Next TV offered to sell high-tech companies flattering coverage without disclosing to viewers they were watching advertising content

Nati Tucker
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Next, the newsy evening program hosted by veteran Israeli journalist Dror Globerman.
Next, the newsy evening program hosted by veteran Israeli journalist Dror Globerman.Credit: צילום מסך מתוך makoT
Nati Tucker

Keshet subsidiary Next TV offered high-tech companies a 30,000-shekel ($8,800) package that includes flattering coverage on a technology show, without stating to viewers that the show contains advertising content.

The television coverage is a spin-off of commercial content on Keshet’s Mako website, which is planning a special project featuring “high-tech companies worth knowing in 2020.”

The project, slated to run on Mako’s technology section Nexter, includes flattering articles accompanied by pictures of the company’s executives. On the website, it states that the articles are commercial content.

Mako approached high-tech companies with a proposal to participate in the commercial project for a fee of 15,000 shekels. They were given the option of an “expanded” package that included a TV item on Next, although the deal states that content on Next will be subject to editorial considerations. This would appear to reduce the value of the advertising arrangement from the companies’ perspective. 

Next is a newsy evening program hosted by veteran Israeli journalist Dror Globerman focused on innovation and high-tech.

As opposed to Keshet’s disclosure policy regarding sponsored content, Next does not state when items are paid for by companies.

This is not the first time that Next has run commercial content without disclosing it. Last week it ran an extensive interview with crowdsourcing company Pipelbiz VP-marketing Mor Yogev without disclosing that the company apparently had paid for it, or stating that Keshet had an interest in Pipelbiz.

Keshet stated on behalf of itself and Gluberman, “Next is not a news program but rather a magazine focused on innovation. The Pipelbiz matter will be checked.”

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