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Another native advertising deception

Companies that sell native advertising are telling advertisers that it’s the most effective advertising ever.

But … they are only reporting half the story — that lots of people view and share native advertising.

Native advertising is fundamentally deceptive. Why? Its purpose is to trick people into viewing ads by disguising them as regular content.

What they aren’t reporting:

  • The percentage of people who are tricked or deceived into clicking or sharing.
  • The number of people who are angry at the brand for trying to trick them.
  • The risk of being downgraded by Google for deceptive practices.
  • The risk of prosecution for deceptive ad practices.
  • The cost of lost customers who were fans of your brand who left because you tried to trick them.

Remember, the people selling native ad products want your cash today. They have zero interest in the long-term reputation of your brand.

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  1. James Young October 6, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    A wise social media marketing expert once said: “Staying ethical and safe is social is easy. Trust is essential. Social media marketers create great content that others can share — and they will only share if they trust in the content that you are providing them.” (Andy Sernovitz, Member Meeting 32 at SocialMedia.Org)

  2. Rodney Robinson October 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks for posting this Andy. this has always bothered me. Deceptive is precisely the word. When sites start adopting this deceptive advertising, they have a new customer in mind, advertisers, not the user or reader. This is when strategy is thrown out the window for profitability. There is never value to the user who gets stuck with these annoying invisible ads. Like you said, the long term reputation of your brand will be tarnished.

  3. Cassie October 14, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    I hate to be the devil’s advocate here, but it’s true when people say that there is no such thing as bad publicity. The user would probably never have noticed the company if he/she had not been tricked into seeing the advert. I’m not saying that this is an ethically correct means of advertising but it truly is effective and if the user is potentially interested in your product, after being tricked into opening the advert he/she will not mind that the company tricked her into being the victim of the advertising. This eventually may tarnish the company’s reputation but the business world is a cut-throat industry and in today’s day and age a new business needs to do anything to get its name out there

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