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News stories disguise 'rollover ads'

Webs ads blur line between news and advertisingwads0205.jpgOnline sites are generating new revenue by steering readers to advertisements when they click on certain words. But when keywords are embedded in the text of news articles, the sites are generating questions as well. Two months after forbes.com ended an experiment with such keyword ads, citing unease among its reporters, The New York Post is considering adopting the practice for its site.

Business news articles appearing Wednesday on www.nypost.com included underlined words in green; when a visitor rolled a mouse over those words, a small box labeled 'sponsored link' appeared with an advertising message and a link to more information.

An article about rising oil prices and the falling dollar, for example, referred to the Conference Board, the business-sponsored nonprofit research group that issued consumer confidence index figures Wednesday. About 400 online publishers have adopted it, said Doug Stevenson, chief executive at Vibrant Media in New York, which developed it. (NEW YORK TIMES)"

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