• 09.24.15

The Wall Street Journal’s In-Depth “Cocainenomics” Is A Netflix Ad For “Narcos”

The streaming service’s impressive native advertising streak continues with a look at the business story of cocaine.

The latest original hit for Netflix chronicles the life and times of infamous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Narcos debuted on August 28 and has been hailed as one of the streaming service’s best series yet. This week, the Wall Street Journal launched Cocainenomics, a bilingual look at the business side of the cocaine trade, featuring all the reporting, graphics, photos, and video, you’d expect from an elaborate interactive piece from a major publication.


But while it’s not uncommon for the media to take a piece of pop culture and tap people’s interest in the subject matter with a deep dive think-piece, “Cocainenomics” is also the latest installment of Netflix’ impressive run of native advertising. Created by WSJ Custom Studios, the piece follows Netflix other content partnerships that include the New York Timesfeature on incarcerated women for Orange Is The New Black, The Atlantic’s look at First Couples for House of Cards, and Wired‘s piece on the future of TV.

Native advertising in general might just be, as John Oliver so eloquently put it, like licorice and guacamole, but this is a clearly labeled and pretty damn interesting editorial snack. We look forward to the inevitable interactive feature on the history of anthropomorphism for BoJack Horseman.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.