Information portal About.com has debuted sponsored brand areas that combine advertiser messaging more fully with site content, according to AdWeek.
The new sections come as advertisers look to make their messaging more seamlessly tied with site content. While some worry about how advertiser influence might affect editorial independence, About.com says it will continue to offer visitors the quality information they expect.
About.com is far from the first portal to create such branded sections. Yahoo and others have created or re-branded some parts of their sites at the behest of advertisers seeking new ways to connect with audiences.
The MGM Grand and other Las Vegas hotels have teamed to created 48hoursinVegas.about.com, an area that combines advertiser promotions with About's Las Vegas information. Last year it worked with AstraZeneca on a heartburn information section to promote the company's heartburn treatment drug Nexium.