Study finds consumers can’t distinguish native and editorial content

Do you know the difference between editorial content and a native ad? If so, you might just be in the minority. According to a new study from researchers at Grady College, people tend to have a great deal of difficulty making the distinction. The researchers displayed 12 different versions of a native ad to test subjects, each ad bearing different disclosure labels, such as “advertising,” “sponsored by,” “brand voice,” and “presented by.” The study found that only 8% of subjects were able to identify native advertising as a paid message. The study also found that consumers are seven times as likely to recognize native advertising when it’s marked with terms such as “sponsored content” or “advertising,” as opposed to “presented by” or “brand voice.” The study, titled Going Native: Effects of Disclosure Position and Language on the Recognition and Evaluation of Online Native Advertising, ran last month in the Journal of Advertising. You can check it out here.

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