Monday, March 17, 2014

Study suggests consumers are wary of
"native advertising"

A new study about to be released by Nielsen on behalf of tech startup company InPowered suggests that readers are wary of so-called "native advertising". A report in Ad Age, written by Steve Rubel, chief content strategist for public relations firm Edelman, says that 60% of readers in the U.S. lab study were less likely to trust a product review if they knew it was paid for by the company selling the product. And half of the study participants didn't trust a brand's own website for reliable product information. 

This may cause questioning about sponsored content being somehow almost as trusted as journalism. It also may counter a belief among marketers that they can simply go direct, becoming their own publishers.

The study found that consumers are quite sophisticated in seeking out what the research called "trusted content" -- 3rd-party articles by journalists. 85% seek this out and 67% say such information informs their buying decisions.
"[The data] raises serious questions over whether native advertising threatens to upend this trust publishers have earned with their audience. This is a particularly prickly issue as it could become harder for readers to discern ads from editorial."

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