I agree with Edelman that we need to start looking at media buying deals in a fresh way. Classical terms such as 'advertorial' may make editorial teams feel safe about boundaries but they also have a negative connotation and can close the door on the development of new media products and advertising products. It doesn't make sense that the media and publishing technologies would continue to change but the resourcing, budgets and deal structures would stay the same.
I don't agree with Edelman that we need to 'take on the chance to make content the basis of advertising' in that I think it always has been. What is changing is where the content is being created and client-side marketers need to take more responsibility for developing content engines inside their companies.
Customers are smarter than we give them credit for and welcome information that is presented to them in an informative and engaging way. If it's sponsored- tell them it's sponsored. If a blogger is paid to review a product, again, tell people that and let them decide how they will manage the influencer relationship. How the deals are brokered behind the scenes shouldn't be hamstrung by media categories that are increasingly less relevant and assumptions that customers don't understand their consumer world.
*after writing this I heard the news of Dan Edelman's passing. Thoughts and prayers are with Richard and his family. You can leave a message for Dan Edelman here