Consumers Can’t Tell Native Ads From Editorial Content

Consumers have difficulty distinguishing between native advertising and editorial content, according to a new study by researchers at Grady College in Georgia, published in the December issue of the Journal of Advertising.The study, titled “Going Native: Effects of Disclosure Position and Language on the Recognition and Evaluation of Online Native Advertising,” investigated how consumers react to the size and placement of native ad disclosure statements in online news articles.In the first experiment, the researchers asked subjects to read online content with two stories, one editorial and one presenting native advertising. They displayed 12 different versions of the ad, with varying types of disclosure labels (“advertising,” “sponsored by,” “brand voice,” and “presented by”), as well as different positions for the disclosure label including at the top, middle, and bottom of the page.The subjects were made to read the native ad first, followed by the real news story, then asked to distinguish which was which.Overall, only 17 out of 242 subjects — under 8% — were able to identify native advertising as a paid marketing message in this experiment. The experiment also revealed that consumers are seven times more likely to identify paid content as a native ad when it is marked with terms like “advertising or “sponsored content” than if it carries terms like “brand voice” or “presented by.”

Source: Consumers Can’t Tell Native Ads From Editorial Content 01/04/2016

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