Native Ads have attracted their fair share of controversy. Matching both form and function of the user experience on which they are placed, they are designed to be appear less intrusive, therefore increasing the likelihood of being clicked. But how to prevent ad content from becoming indistinguishable from editorial? 

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) advises advertisers to follow two guidelines: 

Regardless of native advertising unit type, the IAB advocates that, for paid native ad units, clarity and prominence of the disclosure is paramount. 

The disclosure must: 

  1. Use language that conveys that the advertising has been paid for, thus making it an advertising unit, even if that unit does not contain traditional promotional advertising messages. 
  2. Be large and visible enough for a consumer to notice it in the context of a given page and/or relative to the device that the ad is being viewed on. Simply put: Regardless of context, a reasonable consumer should be able to distinguish between what is paid advertising vs. what is publisher editorial content. 

​This week we are asking: Are IAB guidelines enough to discourage ad ‘camouflaging’ by publishers?