#Hailthedrum: Huffington Post editor Carla Buzasi on paywalls, native advertising and Mashable’s move to the UK

Carla Buzasi, Huffington Post UK editor, offered some words of advice to Mashable founder and CEO Pete Cashmore as he considers a push into the UK market.

“It’s interesting, seeing American sites moving over here,” said Buzasi when asked what she thought of plans to tailoring the news site, a competitor to Huffington Post globally, to a specific UK audience.

“You need a team that are based in that country and that are creating content for an audience based in that country,” she said. “So you take the DNA of a brand but then create a team around it who understand the audience in that country. I think if Mashable do that then they’ll probably be big successes too.”

Her comments were made in the back of The Drum’s branded taxi cab, which took to the streets during Advertising Week Europe to give some delegates a lift to their sessions.

Buzasi also cleared up any confusion around comments made by Huffington Post CEO Jimmy Maymann regarding plans for a potential paywall. A few weeks earlier he had said that Huffington Post would potentially start charging for content within five years.

“At the moment the content we’re creating is very much for everyone to read. What he [Maymann] was trying to say in that instance was that every media company was looking at how they can have a sustainable future. Everyone wants to be making money. But Huffington Post wants to get as many people as possible to read that content,” she explained.

Discussing Huffington Post’s native advertising strategy, Buzasi said: “The age of the advertorial is dead. I really believe that. I don’t think you can trick a person who has grown up in the digital space into reading something that is not of interest to them.

“As an editor, it’s really interesting to me that we can now make money out of brilliant content and it’s really interesting to work with clients and agencies who want to be experimental,” she said.

This is the latest in The Drum’s #Hailthedrum Texi Cab interviews. Previous videos featuring the likes of broadcaster Krishnan Guru Murthy, ESI commercial director Jon O’Donnell, and CP+B founder Chuck Porter.

The 'Hail The Drum' series was produced in partnership with Hailo. The wrap for the taxi was courtesy of Media Agency Group.