When The New York Times
offered the first native ad on its website Jan. 8, reviews were mixed. Some thought the Times
offered too much of a good thing with a half-dozen disclaimers that the story-like piece was advertising. Others opined that despite all the labels, the Times
was stepping down the road to perdition hosting paid content from computer giant Dell.
I’d say each side has a point, but the bigger question is whether the Times
way, like its approach to a digital paywall three years ago, will set the pattern for the newspaper industry’s belated foray into the hot native format.