Any Trader Joe’s junkie boasts knowledge of “2 Buck Chuck,” a nickname deriving from the “Charles Shaw” wine brand. Okay, it now retails for $2.99, but it’s certainly garnered more than two bucks in national attention. The cheap wine came under fire when Huffington Post published an article that turned out to actually be a native advertisement in response to a question on “Quora” entitled, How is Trader Joe’s wine so cheap?


What? You mean to tell me there’s no valid report or study to back up this blogger’s claims? At least, it was not part of the deal between HuffPo and Quora. That’s what a native ad is all about: creating a partnership between the two outlets in order to gain traffic to the website. The problem is in the disguise. An ad disguised as an article doesn’t actually function as proper journalism, noted to the public by The Stark Insider. Huffington Post has since taken down the article.


Clinton Stark of The Stark Insider details a few of the ways to determine a native ad. He says in regard to the “Huffington Post/Quora” situation:


Look closely at the top of the web page and you’ll see a small ad inviting us to become fans of Quora (so we can user generate profits free for the company).

The article in question is, in fact, a comment (“answer”) left on Quora–get this–three years ago.

However it came about, Quora ultimately paid Huffington Post money to run that article.


2 Buck Chuck or 2 Buck Disaster? Well, maybe a case of lazy editorialism better suits this web scandal.


Sure, the original comment could have just been a native ad, but it still has readers wondering about that wine in terms of consumption. Are there any facts we can substantiate? Let’s remain informed consumers and take a look.


What We Do Know:

Was Charles Shaw actually a real person? Indeedhe was. After Shaw graduated from the Stanford Business School, he bought a Napa winery with his wife, Lucy, in 1974 and began to produce Charles Shaw Beaujolais.

“However, after the Shaws divorced in 1991, they sold the winery. The Charles Shaw label possessed a good reputation, though, and Bronco Wine Co., a mass-market wine conglomerate located in the Central Valley’s Stanislaus County, bought it up and revived it in 2002 for sales of a line of inexpensive wines through the Trader Joe’s chain of grocery stores.”


Hmm, a conglomerate sounds a little sketchy, and it’s true after reading that native ad, it will probably be a lot more difficult consuming the questionably inexpensive vino. Maybe what we can learn from this to-do is to pay more careful attention as consumers to our overall awareness on all the countless stories being flashed before our eyes.


That’s the only viewpoint we can really trust at the end of each day, anyhow.


What do you think of editorial fiascos like this case? Does it still irk you a bit to continue drinking 2 Buck Chuck? Let us know what you think! Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @Kelseymbro