What is Native Advertising?

If you pay attention to the online advertising news, you may have heard the term “native advertising” before. More and more it is is being lauded as the new solution to dissatisfaction with advertising. So what is it exactly?

You’re probably familiar with these ads already. On Facebook, these are the random “John Doe & 3 others like Coca-Cola” posts. On Buzzfeed, Ginja, Medium, and other journalism platforms, these could be the promotional articles strips at the bottom of articles (e.g. “From the Web”, “Check this out!”, or “Recommended Sites”) with clearly suspect link. Promoted ads on shopping sites and search results also qualify.

You’re probably wracking your brain to remember how long you’ve seen these kinds of ads already. Why would the methods already drawing the ire of internet users be the solution? The International Advertising Bureau (IAB) is responsible for setting guidelines that most major players follow, and they recommend native advertising for its relevancy to the site’s audience, its seamless integration into the browsing experience, and its ability to offer functionality at at least a basal level.

That’s all well and good, but it’s rehashed piecemeal! Native ads have already been proven not to work, and it makes use of targeting, screen domination, manipulation, and other tactics that consumers are sick of. When advertisers herald native advertising as some sort of panacea, you’re right to be discouraged.

This means they refuse to consider changes that relinquish their stranglehold on consumers. In the face of losing ~30 billion dollars to ad blockers, they’d rather tinker with a broken system than redo the whole thing. The parallels to other industries and polities reflects the general disdain and deflation held by the average citizen toward power. Don’t give up hope. We’re dedicated to working for you and continuing to be a thorn in the side of advertisers, but we won’t stop at “sticking it to the man.” We understand what we symbolize, and we are dedicated to transforming the internet with your help.

Screenshot by Christian Sandlin, via source:

Click to access IAB-Native-Advertising-Playbook2.pdf


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