Native Advertising: Still Not Clear For Consumers. Better Picture On TV?

Native advertising is good news for digital ad brands, not so much for publishers. What can TV learn from this? To tread even more lightly.

A new study says native advertising can be help boost brands, especially when those native efforts are on well-known websites. The downside? Some of those  websites can lose trustworthiness in consumers’ eyes.

On TV native advertising comes in the form of branded entertainment efforts, where distinctions between ad and entertainment can be a little fuzzy. But overall, TV perhaps does a better job of letting consumers know where those distinctions are.  

By contrast, the digital advertising survey -- an IAB/Edelman report of 5,000 consumers -- showed that six out of 10 people visiting general news sites said it was not clear if a brand had paid for the content. That’s not a good number. Worse still, the survey says those general news sites would seem take a hit when it comes to their future brand value.



One of the recommendations from the study is that publishers should "walk away from advertisers who aren't relevant/trusted."

Nice. And how do publishers go to their C-suite execs and say, we need to reduce revenue from our big advertisers -- because they don’t seem “trustworthy”?

And take it a step further: Imagine if TV networks had to do the same thing on a mass scale?

At best, here is what the study also found out: The majority of visitors -- 62% overall and 73% for general news areas -- see no added value for a media site from carrying native advertising. Business executives might have a different point of view -- in the short term, anyway.

Down the road, though, will native advertising last, and will it grow into other kinds of media in ways we have yet to see? A clearer vision and identification that entertainment is branded will probably be necessary, though.

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