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Summary:

Target will sell electronics products endorsed by the editors of Wired in stores and online. Selections include the Square credit card reader, Fitbit and Belkin WeMo. Target also has an editorial partnership with CNET.

Wired Target

Target is launching a new campaign to promote electronics endorsed by Wired editors in its stores and online. It’s not the first time the retailer has partnered with an editorial brand: Target recently started including CNET reviews alongside certain electronics products in its stores, and CNET reviews appear alongside hundreds of products on Target’s website.

In the partnership with Wired, Target will offer “a custom-curated assortment of consumer electronics and gadgets” endorsed by Wired editors. The selections fall into four categories: Digital music, digital photos, productivity and body. Eleven of the products — including the Square credit card reader and Belkin WeMo switch — will appear in Wired-branded displays in Target’s 1,800 stores, and an expanded selection, including Fitbit products (see disclosure), is online at target.com/wired.

Wired gets a small percentage of sales revenue from the products, according to AdWeek, and the promotion will last for 12 weeks. “We’re trying to push Wired out and beyond the four conventional walls of how it’s been defined its first twenty years,” Howard Mittman, VP and publisher of Wired, told AdWeek. “The ability to cross-pollinate opens [Target] up to affluent young men, and we get the opportunity to tap into their scale.”

Fitbit is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of GigaOM/paidContent. (Om Malik, founder of GigaOM, is also a venture partner at True.)

  1. Big questions missing in this story:
    – How will Wired and c/net handle inherent conflicts of interests when their reviews are for sale?
    — What’s the impact on the credibility and trust of editorial brands such as Wired and c|net?
    – To what extent will reviewers be subject to influence by the marketers that they are reviewing?
    – Payola v2013 or the future of product reviews?

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