Native advertising is growing in popularity, but it remains controversial. Editorial purists fret that ads that mimic editorial content will confuse readers, undermining the integrity of the journalism surrounding it. While it is well established that marketers are shifting more money into this type of advertising, less known is how consumers perceive it.
A new survey by HubShout, an online marketing firm based in Falls Church, Va., offers a bit of mixed news for brands. Two-thirds of readers surveyed have read a native ad, but almost an equal number didn’t remember what it was about or who the advertiser was. (Respondents were shown examples of what native ads look like.)