Regulator warns brands over ‘native advertising’

Marketers have been warned not to “camouflage advertisements“ by regulators in a note that attempts to clear-up confusion over what the term “native advertising” actually means, as brands increasingly look to use the format.

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The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advisory panel, which writes ad rules on behalf of the ASA, has issued a note to brands underlining its opinion that while commercial messaging may “look at home” when placed beside editorial content – a practice often referred to as “native advertising” – it must not appear to be editorial content when it is not.

The note reads: “Marketers seeking to innovate should be wary of integrating content to an extent that it is no longer identifiable as an ad. “

CAP issued the note claiming its copy advice team is receiving an increasing number of requests on how to both compose and juxtapose such material from advertisers’ creative departments and refers them to its guidelines on ‘advertisement features’.

The guidance note comes as moves in the US led by the IAB attempt to establish best practice guidelines over the use of such content with the formation of a Native Advertising Taskforce, as government authorities increasingly scrutinise the practice.

AOL, Yahoo, plus a host of other online media owners are also keen to offer brands native advertising slots in the hope to increase their share of online ad spend.

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