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The lines between native advertising and editorial content are continuing to blur, as more magazine publishers involve their editorial team in the production of native ads than use a separate native ad team.
Native advertising research and consulting firm Native Advertising Institute and FIPP, a network for media associations and companies, surveyed 140 C-level magazine executives in 39 countries during April and May of this year. More than two-thirds of magazine executives worldwide said their editorial team produces native ads.
What’s surprising is that more than twice as many respondents said they rely on their editorial team for the production of native ads vs. their own native ad studio. And nearly three times as many magazine execs said they involve their editorial team vs. a separate native ad team.
But magazine execs are worried about the lack of division between their editorial and advertising side. Nearly half of respondents said the biggest threat to native advertising was the lack of separation of the editorial and the commercial side. Furthermore, poor labeling was also a concern; 29% of magazine execs said it was.
Properly labeling what is editorial content and what is not is important. In December 2015, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a lengthy set of recommendations for all relevant parties to clearly disclose the presence of native ads. According to data from MediaRadar, the most commonly used term among ads tracked by the company was “sponsor” or “sponsored,” with 54% representation. Next were “promoted” and the lack of labeling, tied at 12%, with other word choices making up the remainder.
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