Juggling the risks and opportunities of native advertising

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By Mark Owen

The market for sponsored content or ‘native advertising’ has grown phenomenally in the last 12 months. In 2014, it is poised to become a substantial piece of the overall marketing mix for advertisers, as well as to provide important revenue streams for publishers and content platforms.

Inevitably with scale comes more attention from regulators, and we predict that 2014 will see attempts in important jurisdictions to create a specific regulatory framework for native advertising.

Native advertising is so called because it takes the form of editorial-like content placed in online news media. Unless labelled as advertising, it can be indistinguishable from the content that surrounds it, and there are clear risks that consumers may be misled. There are also risks for publishers that they will be seen as biased and their editorial independence compromised…

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