The Lines Between Native Advertising and Editorial Content Are Still Blurred
In December 2015, after studying the issue for more than a year, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a lengthy set of recommendations for all relevant parties to clearly disclose the presence of native ads. The document included guiding principles, examples of when businesses should disclose that content is native advertising and instructions on how to clearly label native ads as such.
Since those guidelines were issued, an April 2016 report by from MediaRadar found relative uniformity in the terminology around native ads in the US. The most commonly used term among ads tracked by the company was “sponsor” or “sponsored,” with 54% representation. Next were “promoted” and the lack of labeling, tied at 12%, and other word choices made up the remainder. Despite the mix of nomenclature, this is an improvement over the scenario that prevailed until recently, in which an even wider array of terms was used to denote native ads.