On Tuesday evening, NativeMobile was briefed on the latest efforts by the UK Internet Advertising Bureau in its formation of a working group that will “explore” the prospect and efficacy of self-regulation and guidelines to govern native advertising’s design and execution in the future.
The freshly-formed organization says that members of this group will begin their efforts by discussing and settling upon a common definition for native advertising. While native advertising may seem like a simple concept to most, its many variations can cause confusion in the absence of a concrete and clear-cut definition.
We’re told the initiative is spearheaded by IAB senior industry programs manager Clare O’Brien.
“The formation of the UK working group comes three months after the IAB US set up a native advertising task force, consisting of 80 companies representing advertisers, media owners and technology providers,” says Lara O’Reilly of MarketingWeek. “The task force, like the UK entity, is looking to set industry-wide native advertising standards – particularly on how native ads can be differentiated from regular content as government authorities increasingly scrutinize the practice.”
Unlike the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, U.K. advertisers are particularly mindful of standards and safeguards, a reality aided by actions at the government level. Last year, for example, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advisory panel, published a strong warning to marketers that advertisements cannot be camouflaged as editorial content.
“Native advertising and branded content are certainly the buzz words of the moment with significant spend on this form of advertising growing fast and in multiple forms,” O’Brien says. “However, there is little guidance or standards around this area at the moment. The IAB felt that now would be an optimal time to set up a working group dedicated to native advertising and help the wider industry really get to grips with this new form of digital advertising.”