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Building Trust 1 October 2017

Native Advertising

State of Native Advertising Transparency Report  – August 3, 2016
Disclosure, Discoverability & Delineation

Recorded Webinar (YouTube) |  Deck (PDF) – August 10, 2016

Native Advertising Best Practices Checklist – August 3, 2016

Native Advertising Research Press Release – August 3, 2016

KOMO Radio News Herb Weisbaum interview (YouTube) – August 12, 2016

Media Coverage / In The News


Native advertising can provide a compelling user experience while affording publishers innovative new revenue streams. In this race to market, the industry, including advertisers, ad-tech companies and publishers are testing a range of disclosure notices and practices. Combined with the impact of online tracking, privacy, security and other issues, concerns are being raised by consumer advocates and regulators worldwide. The key question being asked is, can consumers using a range of devices easily discern and identify native content, and understand the editorial is not controlled by the site they are visiting? 

The tension is that, by design, native ads are intended to “blend” in with the page having a similarity to the news, feature articles, product reviews, entertainment, and other material that surrounds it. Within the ad industry, native definitions vary and the term is used  in a several different contexts. In an effort to help address these concerns, the OTA Advertising Integrity Working Group convened a broad group of stakeholders to develop a set of best practices and prescriptive guidance.  

OTA commissioned a research project assessing the use of native display ad units. This research focused on three primary attributes of the native ad unit including the disclosure term or terminology used to disclose the ad unit, 2) the implementation or presentation of the disclosure term (font treatment) and 3) how was the ad unit itself was delineated from other page content. The ultimate goal is to develop a framework for providing prescriptive and actionable advice to the industry.  If adopted, it promises to help enhance consumer trust and maximize the brand reputation of online publishers.


Resources & Recommended Readings

Putting Disclosures To The Test FTC Workshop – September 15  (Request for Public Comments (Deadline November 2)

Federal Trade Commission Native Advertising Guidance  (December 2015)

Arguments Fly at FTC Native Advertising Workshop (December 2013)

Federal Trade Commission .Com Disclosures (March 2013)

IAB Native Advertising Disclosure Principles (December 2013)

OTA Anti-Malvertising Best Practices

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