Usual policy applies - photo is from WallyG
Bit of a wordy title, but nonetheless...
In the 20th century, most brands adopted the former position.
You are the consumer, we are the speaker, we will dictate to you and (by in large) you will accept it. Barring overly contentious advertising, you generally didn't have too many repercussions. That was, of course, before the land of choice, which exploded (along with consumer culture in general) in the 80's.
Indeed, one of my favourite essays of the late 90's dwelt on this - the problem with choice in today's society (if the link doesn't load, it was called Retail Advertising: the third way' by Stephen Carter.
Moving on to the 21st century, and we now have a shiny new lot of technology (nice, isn't it?), which in turn leads to the latter method of advertising.
So, we have Fruitstock, we have Run London. But is the model any better?
Yes, I do appreciate that the two can sort of work together (although it is noticable that you got a hell of a lot less branded entertainment in the former century), but I think that any new model of comms should use aspects of both in order to get the message across effectively.
The beauty of new technology means that the latter can lead to the former - you can show THEN tell, whereas it always was the other way round. Bloggers can edit/write move scripts now, and (whilst I'm not a fan of TBWA's 'Write Your Own Creative Brief' method), advertisers can be cannier with how they display their thinking.
What is perhaps most telling is that bloggers are now being cited as major sources of news (see the Huffington Post) and blog posts are being published (well done, NDG). How long before blogging creates mass market communications?
*Note to any advertisers; I'm free for any 2 minute biopics, if required.