Native Advertisements Are A Digital Publishing Trend

Digital publishing news for September 12, 2013

Native advertisements have become very popular with all kind of publishers. It’s become an interesting issue. What’s your opinion? Should the editorial team be kept separate or is it acceptable for them to work on branded content? Below is a quick look at this recent digital publishing trend.

The New Yorker Plays with Natives

The New Yorker has started running content on behalf of its advertisers. Digiday has all the details of this fabled publishers dive into native ads. Josh Sternberg reports, “Sponsored content is being created by The New Yorker’s business side of the house. For example, in August, the publication ran a native ad from IBM about five steps to building a better cloud written by Frank De Gilio, an IBM  engineer and the chief cloud architect for IBM Systems and Technology Group. The content is labeled as “Sponsor Content” in a yellowish-orangish box, with another box next to it explaining what sponsored content is. The box reads: “Sponsor content is created by, or on behalf of, our advertising partners and not by The New Yorker’s editorial staff.”

Is sponsored content here to stay?

Should Your Editorial Staff Write for Advertisers?

Ad Age has a new report on the relationship of editorial staff and advertisers. Michael Sebastian reports, “Many publishers embracing sponsored content defend the integrity of their ad/edit walls by creating in-house teams apart from their newsrooms to produce content on behalf of advertisers. But a handful of publishers — such as Mashable and Mental Floss — are allowing their editorial staffs to write stories and produce videos for advertisers, arguing that it affords a more authentic experience.”

Only a small group of publishers have decided to use editorial staff to write sponsored content. Sebastian writes,”Will Pearson, the president and other co-founder of Mental Floss, said setting up in-house studios separate from the editorial talent fails to benefit sites’ advertisers and readers, because editorial staffers most ably reflect the voice of the magazine.”

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Washington Post Sells Native Ads for Print

Ad Age is reporting that the Washington Post is now offering native ads for print. Michael Sebastian writes,”The ad units on offer include one the Post calls an “agenda setter,” wrapped around a portion of the front page and featuring both display advertising and copy resembling editorial content. Another execution sits among true editorial content on the fold inside the paper. The native ads in print, which will be marked “sponsor generated content,” extend the BrandConnect program that has let advertisers post edit-like stories online since March.”

These native print ads will start running in the late third and fourth quarters.

Publishers Making Native Ads a Cinch for Advertisers

Did you know that some publishers have teams dedicated to native advertising? According to this post on Adweek, “Onion has its Onion Labs, a serious branded content team that creates Onion-like parodies for brands. And The Huffington Post recently launched its HuffPost Partner Studio, an in-house creative agency for brands to produce sponsored content tailored to the HuffPost audience and environment.”

Now, Wired is doing the same. Lucia Moses reports that “Condé Nast’s Wired is officially unveiling a new unit called Amplifi; its mandate is to create content for brands that’s highly tailored to the Wired reader while labeled as promotional. So far, it’s churned out a crowd-sourced tablet magazine for Cisco and a custom blog for Marriott on travel for geeks. A mosaic-like print ad for Fiat that’s running in the September issue also was the product of Amplifi.” Wired already gets 30% of their revenue through ads like these but I’m guessing that they’re hoping to amp that number up with this dedicated unit.

Publishers are becoming creative agencies and the advertisers appear to be loving it. Less work for them!



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