Monday, August 29, 2016

Disclosure of "native ads" doesn't always follow recommended guidelines

In 2015, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission published guidelines for how "native" advertising should be labelled and presented. A whitepaper released recently by leading native advertising developer Polar says that a large proportion of advertisers didn't use the recommended terms such as "sponsored" or "advertisement" and instead used no disclosure at all or chose ambiguous terms such as "promoted" or "partner" or "presented". According to an article in MediaDailyNews
The report, Polar’s “State of Native Disclosure,” analyzed 137 native placements across 65 publishers and found only 55% of them utilized the term “sponsored” and 4.5% used the term “advertisement,” adhering to Federal Trade Commission guidelines that native ad placements are explicitly labeled as sponsored advertising content 
The remainder either had no disclosure at all or utilized more ambiguous terms such as “promoted,” “presented,” or “partner.”
The FTC guidelines in 2015 said ambiguous terminology could potentially “mislead consumers that advertising content is endorsed by a publisher site and/or that the advertiser did not create or influence the content."

Some advertisers found that ambiguous terms were preferable because they performed better than explicit ones.
The study found the highest click-through rate (0.19%) was achieved by native ads labeled “promoted,” and the second-highest (0.17%) by those labeled “partner” content. “Sponsored” ranked third with a click-through rate of 0.16%, while native content with no disclosure achieved a rate of 0.15%.

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