IDG/Nativo Deal Highlights Why Native Advertising Needs Standards

IDG Communications introduced a native ad platform Wednesday that allows marketers to create the ad once and integrate the branded content across its network of sites.

The native ad unit is increasing in popularity, but the industry lacks standards to help native advertising grow.

The Native@Scale platform lets marketers create branded content once and distribute it across the company's network of sites. That works well for IDG ad placements, which sites BI Intelligence estimates that marketers will spend $21 billion on native ads by 2018.

But what does that mean for brands wanting to take the same native campaign and run it across another network such as Facebook Audience Network or Yahoo Gemini, which supports both native display and search advertising?

Robert W. Baird & Co. Analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in a research note that more than 80% of impressions on the Facebook Audience Network are native ads, including newer formats, such as auto-play video, which continues to gain traction.



Brands should have the option of creating the ad unit once and running it across multiple networks, similar to the way display advertisements work. The Interactive Advertising Bureau does not have formal standards for native ad units, though the IAB Deep-Dive on In-Feed Units gives examples of various in-feed ad formats used by publishers today.

IAB also offers best practice guidance for the industry to ensure that the content being distributed is appropriate for the site that it will run on.

"The content within could be the same copy [and image], but there may be tweaking necessary on the format in accordance to individual site designs," an IAB spokesperson explained to Media Daily News in an email.

If a content ad is produced by an agency or brand, they could run that same content ad wherever they want. The creative assets, such as the headline and ad copy, will render in accordance with the design of the site, not formal templates.

Through its partnership with Nativo, which supports the creation, purchase and measurement of in-stream ads, IDG will offer the ad unit on a CPM basis for desktop and mobile.

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