Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Blurred Lines: Advertisement or Editorial? FTC Workshop on Native Advertising, Project No. P134510 #00027

Submission Number:
Justin Choi
Initiative Name:
Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Blurred Lines: Advertisement or Editorial? FTC Workshop on Native Advertising, Project No. P134510

At Nativo, we spent two years in development before we launched. Were were originally called "PostRelease," a play on "Press Release," since we were posting product announcements for brands into sponsored placements. By working on a platform to automate this process early on, we got a head start on the technology needed for native. More important, we were involved in the development of the segment and have been involved in developing best practices. We believe Native Advertising is defined by look, location, and experience. Native ads should always be all about the consumer. In digital, the consumer experience is the main driver of user satisfaction, trust and loyalty. Readers expect integrity and trust that a publisher provides content from an unbiased editors. When publishers and marketers get native right, all stakeholders benefit: publishers monetize, agencies deliver results, and brands reach consumers. This virtuous circle is achievable 100% of the time if stakeholders follow native best practices. The definition of native represents the best practice guideline that provides for the most critical element of native: a positive consumer experience. We believe, with the Online Publishers’ Association and others who promote industry best practices around native advertising, that six key tenants must be considered for any native campaign: 1. Integration into the design of a publisher’s site and resides on the same domain. OR, Brand content matches the cosmetic look and feel of the site and resembles editorial content, not to confuse consumers but to avoid showing something visually “intrusive," disruptive, or out of place. 2. Content either provided by, produced in conjunction with, or created on behalf of our advertisers that runs within the editorial stream: OR, Whether written in the brand-voice, by a publisher content team, or combination, brand content runs in-stream alongside editorial content, or anywhere where editorial content is promoted to users. When nested within the editorial stream, brand content is promoted alongside relevant editorial, thereby eliminating audience distraction in order to gain their attention. 3. Clear delineation and labeling as advertising content: OR Content is always, clearly disclaimed as “sponsored” or ”promoted." In some cases, the brand may be listed as author. However a publisher chooses to disclaim the content, it is clear to consumers where content comes from if supported by a brand. 4. Editorial Value to the reader and conforms to the reader’s expectations: OR: a) Brand content is contextually relevant to what consumers are already actively consuming on the publisher site, b) consumers learn something or benefit from the content, and c) clicking on brand content yields an expected experience; the reading experience takes place on the publisher domain. This is why Nativo utilizes a viewable CPM (vCPM) pricing model on the tout or article preview (versus CPC): this forces stakeholders to think in terms of engagement and delivering value to consumers, not driving clicks. 5. Contextually relevant, non-standard advertising units. OR Brand content is distributed alongside contextually relevant editorial content. Contextual relevancy is not just about content; it’s about allowing users to self-select and allowing users to self-select what’s relevant to them, on their terms…and perfectly matched to the unique design, look and feel of each publication. 6. Content marketing-sponsored sites, games, infographics OR Native is the packaging of relevant content assets that add value to users. Brand content should look like it belongs (similar look/feel), should be located within the content well or wherever editorial content is promoted, not in an abrupt way, and should be experienced in exactly the same way as editorial content. Brand content should be ID'ed as sponsored content. There should never be attempts to mislead, confuse, or distract consumers.