Do people need to be informed that what they’re seeing/hearing/reading is an ad?
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) thinks so.
According to its new white paper, 66 percent of respondents agree that native advertising needs crystal clear disclosure that it’s advertising.
“Only 13 percent feel that such disclosure is not needed, while 21 percent are not sure,” argues the ANA. “Comment to that 13 percent who feel disclosure is not needed – you’re either wrong or misinformed and that’s the type of perspective that damages consumer trust in advertising.”
While the post recognizes that the new initiative of native advertising “provides marketers with the opportunity to create relevant associations between their brands and consumers via content,” the ANA doesn’t want to back down on time-honored nods to transparency and clarity.
“Done right, native advertising is a win for marketers, consumers, and publishers,” the organization asserts. “Marketers win because their messages have a better likelihood of being seen/read versus traditional advertising. Consumers win because marketing messages have more contextual relevance than traditional advertising. And publishers win given the business development potential.”
But the bottom line, according to the ANA, is that native ads can’t be used to deceive the consumer. Making the reader believe he or she is reading editorial content rather than an ad is the gravest of cardinal sins in the advertising world. The must be, the ANA states emphatically, “clear disclosure.”