There has been a recent insurgence of media tackling the topic of “Native Advertising” and it’s morality in editorial based websites.
What is Native Advertising?
Wikipedia defines Native Advertising as “an online advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience. Native ad formats match both the form and function of the user experience in which they are placed. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and thus increase the likelihood users will click on it. The word “native” is used to refer to the formatting of the advertising materials to make them appear more consistent with other media in the recipient’s universe.”
In layman’s terms, it is an ad that is meant to resemble the stories on a website. This tricks the user into thinking the ad is an editorial piece. It is the same concept as an “advitorial” in a magazine or newspaper.
Is Native Advertising morally right?
Here is the $64,000 question- should editorials trick users at the expense of the all-mighty advertising buck?
In order for a business to survive, they need to make money. With magazines and news outlets failing to meld their business model in a digital world, they need to raise revenue somehow. The answer has always been ads. Banner ads receive abysmal “clicks-thrus” so they had to develop a new way to make money. The answer was Native Advertising. The obvious way to remove ads it to have a paid subscription(much like the print side of news and magazines). Until there is an acceptance to pay for journalism online, I think Native Advertising and other covert ads will be here to stay.
What are your thoughts? Would you pay a subscription fee to view a newspaper or magazine website ad free? If so, how much would you spend a month?
Here is a hilarious video stating their points.