NEW YORK—The marketing and advertising team at a major American company actually believed that commissioning, paying for, approving, and publishing this sponsored post you are reading right now was a smart move, sources confirmed this week. “People love to read sponsored posts, it is the best way for making people trust and respect your brand, and this website is the best place for a company like ours to get the word out about its products,” said a spokesman for the company, which, again, genuinely thought that it was effectively bolstering its image with the purchase of this four-sentence, 164-word article that is clearly labeled on a popular website as a piece of advertising material. “The post will take everything people like about this website’s regular content and slap our company’s logo and corporate voice all over it. This is a great idea. People will love this. Right?” At press time, the company in question is actually considering doing another one of these things.