OWU Magazine

January 14, 2016 | By Ohio Wesleyan University

Alum Explores Controversial Advertising in New Book

Steve Ruygrok ’10 has published his first book, The Decaying Pillars, a fictional story inspired by the concept of “native advertising.” An emerging but controversial advertising model, native advertising is a way of disguising advertising as an actual article, with the intent to more naturally influence and persuade its intended audience. Steve sees native advertising as a serious threat to ethical journalism and the industry as a whole.

“My book goes into the behind-the-scenes of creating native advertising, questionable journalistic practices, and other issues facing the industry today,” Steve explains. “The controversy arises when people cannot tell the difference between what is native advertising and what is independent, actual journalism. It’s a gray area that marketers dream of. Viewers, readers, and all consumers of media need to know what native advertising is and the forms it can take.”

Steve says The Decaying Pillars is focused on bringing awareness to what he believes is an important issue.

“Creating the book was never about selling copies or gaining notoriety. It was and still is about getting people who are involved with journalism, and people who are not, talking about the place native advertising should have in media today.”

The Decaying Pillars is available for purchase through Amazon, Amazon eBook, Nook eBook, and iBook.