Originally at http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/2535803

Posted by willcritchlow

The FTC recently published their updated rules (and more accessible “guidance”) on what constitutes a “misleading” native advert [PDF]. I’ve read them. I only fell asleep twice. Then, near the end, a couple of bombshells.

But first, the background.

Native ads and the FTC

For those who haven’t been following the trends closely, native advertising is a form of digital advertising whereby adverts are included “in-stream,” interspersed with regular editorial content.

On social platforms, this takes the form of “promoted” posts — including stories or videos in your Facebook stream or tweets in your Twitter stream from brands you didn’t explicitly follow or “Like.” See, for example, this Coursera ad in my Facebook stream:

Native ads are particularly interesting on mobile, where the smaller screens and personal nature tend to make anything that isn’t in-stream intrusive or irrelevant.

For publishers, native advertising looks more like brand content presented as whole pages rather than as banners or advertising around the edges of the regular content. It can take the form of creative content promoting the brand, brand-funded “advertorial,” or anything in between. See, for example, this well-labelled advertorial on Autocar:

You might notice that this is actually a lot like offline magazine advertising — where “whole page takeovers” are common, and presented in the “stream” of pages that you turn as you browse. And in a similar way to the digital version, they can be glossy creative or advertorial that looks more like editorial content.

The big way that the digital world differs, however, is in the way that you find content. Most people turn pages of a magazine seq…

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