Casper’s Shutdown of Van Winkle’s Shows the Limits of ‘Brand Journalism’

When Jeff Koyen joined Casper in 2015 as editor-in-chief of Van Winkle’s, the mattress brand’s standalone online publication, the future looked bright because the company gave him autonomy to build a media property focused on sleep. The launch was heralded as a new brand journalism model: Unlike most brand-owned publications that serve to drive traffic to the company website, Van Winkle’s was an independent editorial venture with a long-term goal of generating revenue through ads.

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