Magazine’s Own Editorial Staff is Involved in Native Ad Solutions for Most Publishers

One of the most controversial discussions in the publishing industry revolves around the separation between church and state – or the editorial versus the commercial side of media – which is highlighted by native ad solutions.

To a majority of magazine publishers this divide need not be so clear. 68% say that they use their editorial team in providing native solutions in a recent survey produced by Native Advertising Institute and FIPP involving 140 magazine executives from 39 countries across the globe.

However this does not necessarily mean that magazine publishers are erasing the lines between editorial and commercial content. When asked: How do you provide native advertising solutions, publishers could check multiple boxes – and so they did.

31% of the publishers have their own native ad studio, 24% have a separate native ad team, 12% use an external agency partner, 6% go for an advertiser’s agency. The involvement of the editorial team in native advertising is therefore not a rejection of dedicated native advertising teams. It rather appears to be an additional organisational solution that gives magazine publishers a competitive edge since they can draw on an internal editorial expertise when it comes to the generation of ideas, tone-of-voice, knowledge of the audience etc. A knowledge that external providers of native ads do not possess to the same degree.

Editorial teams don’t necessarily produce native ad solutions 

What the report results therefore indicate is that a collaboration between the editorial and the commercial side is indispensable to a majority of publishers even though the editorial teams might not exactly produce native ads themselves.

This is also a reflection of the distinct nature of native advertising compared to traditional advertising in so far that it relies on its ability to capture the audience not only by providing a great offer or the promise of a new product but rather offers a compelling story. Whereas traditional advertising clearly belongs in the advertisement department, usually far removed from the editorial offices, native advertising falls between the two chairs.

Native advertising can only truly be successful by having a dedicated editorial staff involved in its production. But the forms and the degree of this involvement can clearly vary according to magazine publishers.

In the upcoming event ‘Native Advertising Days 2016’ on November 16th-17th Jesper Laursen, CEO of Native Advertising Institute, will talk in depth about the findings in the survey. In attending the conference you will also be presented with inspirational cases, solid insights and actionable tools that you can take home and implement right away. You will leave highly motivated to pursue and explore the potential within native advertising and with a stronger network of colleagues from around the world who are passionate about creating real results with native advertising. Speakers include Stephanie Losee, Head of Content at VISA, Jason Miller, Global Content Marketing Leader at Linkedin, Michael Villaseñor, Creative Director of Ad Innovation and Marketing at the New York Times, and Rebecca Lieb, Leading Industry Analyst on native Advertising.

Want more? Sign up for the Native Advertising Institute Newsletter and get insights from the people who live and breath native advertising. 

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3 Responses

  1. In my role as immediate past ethics committee chairman of the American Society of Business Publication Editors, I have closely followed native advertising developments. I am curious as to how your organization distinguishes between native advertising and content marketing. Initially, native ad proponents hoped to waive standards pertaining to labeling and non-use of graphics simulating regular editorial content. Our ethics code among others opposed this position. And of course, it came to past that new FTC guidance calls for clear distinction between the look of native ads and regular editorial content. So if native ad prime objective is to provide take-away value ads that tell stories rather than promote product, isn’t that already a standard content marketing practice??

    1. admin

      Thank you for your comment. Our organization follow the common distinction between native advertising as paid media on other platforms than one’s own, while content marketing is owned media for one’s own platforms. Native advertising can often form part of a content marketing strategy though. The distinction between the two has among other things to do with how it is distributed, the fact that native advertising content is similar to the content on the site it appears on and finally the length of the project. Native is campaign-based while content marketing is the art of building an audience consistently over time.
      We agree that labelling should be an integral part of native advertising. It’s neither good for the media business nor the brands, if readers and viewers can’t tell which brand is behind a native ad. We believe that is possible while still telling stories that suit the media in which they appear.
      Best regards,
      Jesper Laursen, CEO Native Advertising Institute

  2. Thank you for replying to my comment concerning the way “native advertising” is defined. Your comment posted on September 13 never reached me directly. I came across your response while doing a “Howard Rauch” search. I wonder if there is a better way for me to realize you have responded to any comments I make in the future.

    Anyway, your definition of native advertising probably simplifies discussions overseas marketers have about improving the system. For example, recently another overseas marketer stressed the value of not blending advertising to make it resemble editorial content. In the United States, blending in with editorial content was the goal pursued by native advertising users. It probably still is . . . but FTC advisories that stress need for ad copy to be clearly identified rather than blended have put a damper on attempts to use graphics that simulate regular editorial. Perhaps simulation in USA native ads is no longer a necessity? I will investigate for a future article in the ethics newsletter published by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.

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