I’m on the fence about native advertising.  I know that most people who aren’t in the online or advertising space don’t even know what native advertising is, or what it looks like.  And the online and advertising folks, well, they like it like that.  

Native advertising looks like it’s not advertising.

That’s the entire premise – to create some sort of content that looks like content, maybe reads like content, but really is an ad placement.  You know, like product placement, but a little more insidiously placed.

MediaPost has some insane predictions – 

Going forward, third-party in-app native ads will grow at an annual average rate of 70.7%, according to a new study conducted by IHS and commissioned by Facebook Audience Network.

By 2020, 75.9% of all online display ad revenue will be mobile. If accurate, that will amount to a cool $84.5 billion.

Now that’s a lot of native advertising.  But there’s a hitch in all that native advertising and all those native ad spends and native ad revenue generation predictions – and that hitch goes by the name of the FTC.  (Yes, that Federal Trade Commission, that FTC)

The FTC isn’t a big fan of native advertising; they’ll allow it as long as its properly disclosed.  They’ve already fined Lord & Taylor for improper use of native advertising (but that one also looked to violate DotCom Disclosures Guidance to me as well as native).   I covered that in our Domino Research blog over the past few year, and the links take you back to the original articles.

So native that’s disclosed as native is good.  Native that isn’t disclosed as native is likely to land you in hot water as soon as you get caught.  Native is a hot topic, a big money maker, but just like 900 numbers, it’s going to take the hit sooner or later – my guess is sooner, since the enforcement cycles are getting shorter with each new FTC guidance.

Check out our mobile wallet marketing platform, I think you’ll like it. 

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