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native advertising

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Native advertising is the integration of marketing content with a website or service in such a way that it is not distinct from the rest of the material presented there in terms of its content, format, style or placement. 

Although native advertising is often informational rather than explicit marketing material, it is considered to be valuable for the advertiser's brand. The concept is the opposite of interrupt marketing, in that it is presented to the user along with content that they are freely viewing. Furthermore, because native advertising is presented in the same way as any other content on a site, the user is not coerced into viewing or reading it -- they do so if appears to be useful or interesting to them. 

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) updated dot com disclosures have implications for native advertising and other types of content marketing. All endorsements, for example, must be truthful and the person endorsing the product must be an actual customer. Any further information required for complete understanding of a claim must be clearly presented, ideally close to the claim. Transparency requirements stipulate that any marketing material clearly indicate that it originates from the advertiser. Native advertising and other types of marketing content that may not appear to be advertising should include a statement divulging their source. 

This was last updated in May 2013

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