Media brands shy away from the A-word, when it comes to labeling native ads

Instead, they lean on a variety of terms, such as “sponsored,” “promoted” or “presented by.” That’s partly a reflection of the regulatory landscape. The Federal Trade Commission called publishers down to Washington, D.C. in December 2013 to discuss native advertising, but they simply advised media owners to make clear that something is an ad. The organisation stopped short of issuing a mandate on exactly how the ads should be labeled.

A native ad is a piece of content — could be text, video or a collection of images — that more or less looks like a site’s editorial work except an advertiser actually paid to create it. A July 2014 survey from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PR firm Edelman found that only 41 per cent of consumers said native ads on a general news sites were clearly identified as paid for by a brand.

Native advertising is too often an “attempt to confuse the source of the content,” said Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor at City University of New York.

Publishing executivess uniformly disagree with the assertion that they’re trying to dupe readers. Native ads fit with readers’ consumption habits, especially on mobile, where content is delivered in a feed, they argue. They also insist fooling readers will only anger and alienate them.

And the reason they don’t call them “advertisements” is because they say it’s not an accurate description.

Source: Advertising Age

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