The IAB UK has released a set of guidelines to help the marketers offer more transparency to consumers around native advertising. Advertisers will be required to provide consumers with prominently visible visual cues so that they are aware they are engaging with marketing content compiled by a third party in a format which isn’t editorially independent. That could mean, for example, brand logos or design, such as fonts or shading, clearly differentiating it from surrounding editorial content.
The content must also be labelled using wording to demonstrate that a commercial arrangement is in place, such as ‘paid promotion’ or ‘brought to you by’.
“Paid-for advertising units which are deliberately designed to replicate the look and feel of the editorial content that they appear against needs to be obvious to consumers,” says Alex Stepney, public policy manager at the IAB UK. “The guidelines help companies involved in developing and publishing such native ad formats to provide the necessary levels of transparency to consumers and uphold the integrity of online advertising.”
Native and content advertising spend, including paid-for sponsorships, advertisement features and in-feed distribution, totalled £216 million in the first half of 2014, accounting for 21% of display ad spend