Native advertising—content designed to mimic a website’s editorial look and feel—is a fast-growing area of the ad business. Native ad spending in the U.S. is expected to top $8.8 billion by 2018. Its growth is being fueled by brands and publishers who are seeking new ad formats that work better on mobile and outperform banner ads.
A recent study of native ads that appeared on the home pages of the top 100 news websites in April found that 71% of the ads failed to provide adequate disclosures and transparency, making it difficult for readers to discern between an ad and actual editorial content, according to Online Trust Alliance, a nonprofit based in Bellevue, Wash.
OTA said it did the assessment to give guidelines to advertisers and publishers, in the hopes of “fostering industry self-regulation.”