Insights, tools and research to advance journalism

Sponsored content / Native advertising

We encourage you to read our in-depth white paper: “Understanding the rise of sponsored content,” which distills insights from an API summit that gathered some of the best leaders on this subject.

BuzzFeed is moving production for sponsored videos for UK advertisers to its London office

BuzzFeed’s focus on video is starting to take hold in the U.K. as well, Jessica Davies writes. BuzzFeed is doubling the size of its London office and will add two new studios with a focus on sponsored video. The goal, Davies writes, is bringing “all video production made on behalf of U.K. advertisers in-house.” Before, […]

Facebook’s policies force publishers to tag underwritten content as if it were produced with a ‘sponsor,’ even if that’s not true

You might have heard: Sponsored content is generally understood to be content that takes the same form and qualities of a publisher’s original content and usually serves useful or entertaining information as a way of favorably influencing the perception of the sponsor brand But did you know: “Facebook’s [sponsored content] policy may be adequate when […]

More than half of local independent online news sites are selling sponsored content, Tow-Knight report finds

According to a new report from the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, 51 percent of local independent online news sites that sell journalism are selling native advertising or sponsored content. The report shows that while these publishers are still heavily dependent on advertising revenue, they’re experimenting with new ad formats and new ways to bring […]

BuzzFeed’s clients are increasingly asking for proof that native ads are working

BuzzFeed is generally ahead of the curve in terms of distributed content and native ads. However, its clients are starting to ask for more proof that native ads are effective for more than just getting clicks and shares. Lucia Moses reports that agencies working with BuzzFeed haven’t seen native ads lead to an actual intent […]

Guardian changes how it labels native ads, now referring to them as ‘paid content’

The Guardian announced this week that it’s making changes to how it labels native ads, and will now label content that’s supported by sponsors with “paid content” or “paid for by.” The Guardian previously labeled native ads with “brought to you by.” The company told Digiday the changes are “a part of our ongoing commitment […]

How Quartz uses a dedicated branded content team to create sponsored content that reads like the rest of its editorial content

Quartz is differentiating its sponsored content from that of other publishers’ by incorporating compelling storytelling and design, Aleszu Bajak writes. Quartz’s in-house creative team comes up with stories and ideas relevant to an advertiser’s product, running the ideas through a design team, a development team and a branded content team. A key part of that […]

Time Out London’s formula for native ad success: More creative advertisements and showing users ads that are more relevant

Time Out’s international creative director Adam Harris says they’ve found a new native ad strategy in London that has made campaign results “rocket.” That strategy is creating richer, more creative advertisements and then showing those ads to users at more relevant moments, and it will soon be exported to Time Out’s titles in Paris and […]

Research shows that readers are more likely to recognize native advertising if it is labeled as ‘advertising’ or ‘sponsored content’

New research from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication shows that if a news organization wants a reader to recognize paid content, it needs to label it as “advertising” or “sponsored content.” The study found that readers were more likely to recognize paid content labeled with those identifiers as sponsored […]

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