How To Keep Native Ads Honest

December 21, 2018

Organic is the nature of native advertising and it’s the reason why we’re seeing it so widely adopted. The format allows publishers to introduce advertising to their content stream without fully disrupting the individual compared to, for example, a banner advertisement which is quite blatant in standing out.

Recently the media attention has fallen onto native advertising due to the fact that it is in such hot debate between whether it’s simply a cleverly disguised ad that’s misleading or a piece of content that has honest intention.

Last Week Tonight, an HBO show with John Oliver (previous ties to The Daily Show), recently covered the topic (and debate) about native advertising:

With the format coming under fire it’s important to step back and examine how it’s used in order to prevent your native advertising from slipping into the realm of misinformation.

There are many ways to go about showing transparency; here are three that you should implement:

  • Be sure to disclose the relationship between publisher and advertiser; it can be done by using correct language in (or around) the ad or even use icons that are recognizable so the community knows when they are digging into a native advertisement.
  • Be sure to use effective language in the ad so that when someone is giving it a look they know it may be sponsored by a company rather than being lead to believe it’s a legitimate piece that just so happens to have frequent brand name drops littering the piece (see these examples for best practices).
  • Be sure to extend discloser to the landing pages so there is continuity between the piece of content and where the individual may end up; it not only keeps things transparent but works in your favor because it doesn’t become a bait-and-switch.

By taking these precautions in transparency the industry will grow gracefully. The debate, no doubt, will continue to rage on but as long as the efforts your business (or the provider you hired) are genuine and seek to deliver value the campaigns will be well-received.

What are your thoughts about native advertising and the need for transparency?

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