Shepherd - 2:22 pm on May 31, 2013 (gmt 0)
It should be clear to your readers that this is a paid story by labeling it advertisement or sponsored story.
In some countries this is a legal requirement. Ignore it at your peril.
First, nowhere is it "illegal" to not use a no-follow tag. (I know that's not what you were saying Buckworks, just making a point).
Second, google cares not about the "labeling it advertisement or sponsored story" so that the reader know blah blah blah... google wants adsense blocks in those advertorials, not links that pass pr juice, google wants to be the one with the biggest piece of the advertising pie. That's business, whatever.
The only way to keep this from happening is for us, all of us, to start getting our traffic before google does. At this point it's no easy task but it must be done. The news sites that have their own following, that get their visitors outside of google, couldn't care less about what google wants or google's demands of them.
There was an internet before google, many of us here remember it, we have to get back to that.