While native ads can certainly be effective when implemented alongside editorial content, there are readers who find it can be difficult to distinguish between the two. As a result, the Federal Trade Commission recently released updated guidance on disclosures regarding native ads and clarity on how it will police what it views as content designed to deceive consumers.
This updated policy statement is more detailed than in the past and such guidelines are clearly needed since publisher disclosure of native ads is far from consistent. Furthermore, a recent study published in the Journal of Advertising shows that consumers have difficulty distinguishing between native advertising and non-sponsored editorial content.
The new enforcement policy and the business guidelines are a result of two years of study by the agency and include extensive examples of various types of sponsored and influencer marketing content. Alongside each example is the FTC’s recommendation of whether or not a disclosure is necessary, largely based on formatting that is similar to non-sponsored content on the same site and the level of endorsement communicated in the content. The guidelines also explicitly state how disclosures should be displayed to maximize the chance of a viewer understanding that the content contains an ad.
In general terms, the FTC states that advertisers “Should not use terms such as ‘Promoted’ or ‘Promoted Stories,’ which in this context are at best ambiguous and potentially could mislead consumers that advertising content is endorsed by a publisher site.” Jessica L. Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, stated, “People browsing the web, using social media or watching videos have a right to know if they’re seeing editorial content or an ad.”
So what does this really mean? Take a look at responses around the web:
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OUTDOORFLICS is a Digital Division of Adventure Advertising, LLC. With so many different ways to reach your audience, it’s important to stay on top of the latest tactics and trends in the ever evolving field of digital marketing. Follow us on linked in to stay informed.