Consumers skip over labels, and even when they see them, many don’t understand what the labels mean, said David J. Franklyn, professor and director at the McCarthy Institute for Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he researches consumer knowledge of native and search advertisements.
“When people are presented with a story that looks like a story, they think it’s a story,” said Franklyn, who presented a study that surveyed 10,000 people both in the US and abroad. “What we’ve found is that there is deep confusion about the difference between paid and unpaid content.”
Respondents to his study “didn’t remember seeing ‘sponsored by’ posts when asked to read a web page and the majority (over 50 percent) also didn’t know what the word ‘sponsored’ actually meant.”
These results augment more preliminary findings from the study which stated that sometimes people don’t understand what the word ”ad” means, and even with disclosure, as much as 35 percent of people when asked to identify the type of content they were viewing, said that it was not an ad.
What this study sheds light on is that we do not have a homogenous group of consumers in terms of knowledge and expectations. People struggle with differentiating paid from unpaid ads. The bottom line? Context matters more than labels.
Part of the problem is that traditional banner ads are extremely ineffective. So they devised a new form of ad called native advertising, which New Yorker contributor Ken Auletta describes: "native advertising is basically saying to corporations who want to advertise, we will camoflauge your ads, to make them look like news stories. That's essentially it."
" everyone hates advertising and marketing. It’s the way they just force us all to buy things we don’t want, right? Because without them we would all be happy eating shit food, driving cheap, shit cars, living in really ugly homes and wearing head-to-toe velour. "
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