December 19th, 2013

Times Publisher Sets Out Plan for ‘Native’ Ads

The New York Times

Seeking to allay potential newsroom concerns about the introduction of a new digital product called native advertising, the publisher of The New York Times on Thursday said that features like a color bar and the words “Paid Post” would enable readers to identify material as advertising content.  In a letter to employees, the publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., also said there would be “strict separation between the newsroom and the job of creating content for the new native ads.”

Native advertising, also known as branded content, is information provided by marketers that is designed to look more like the articles it appears alongside. It has led to controversy in the journalism industry because it blurs the line between editorial content and advertising. But it has also been viewed as a valuable new source of revenue for news organizations struggling to make up for the decline of print advertising.  The platform is “relatively new and can be controversial,” Mr. Sulzberger said in his letter, but is necessary to help “restore digital advertising revenue to growth.”

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