New native rules demand ‘prominent cues’ as IAB and AANA move on commercial content

Advertisers will have to agree to using “prominent cues” in native online advertising, based on new principles released by the IAB and the AANA.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 10.53.19 amBut questions surround just how prominent the cues to consumers will have to be and in a practical sense how the guidelines will work and be enforced.

The move by the IAB and the AANA comes just weeks after the ACMA approved new free-to-air TV guidelines that allows native advertisers to use the internet to identify advertisers backing TV shows.

Media Watch slammed the new guidelines, dubbing the ACMA a “watchpuss”.

The new principles – the first to be released by the IAB and the AANA addressing the issue of identifying commercial content to consumers – are based around three principles.

“To provide consumers with prominently visible cues to enable them to immediately understand that they are enagaging with paid for marketing content  that is not editorially independent,” the guidelines state.

This can be done with logos and different design formatting.

Native content providers and distributers must also used labelling and language that “demonstrates a commercial arrangement is in place”.

Along with identifying paid content, native advertisers musty also adhere to the AANA advertisers can also adhere to the AANA Codes.

Matt Tapper, chairman of the AANA, and managing director global markets for Lion beer, cider and wine, said that the new principles were an important step in making sure consumers were aware of who was supporting the content they were consuming.

“With the increasing potential for blurred lines between editorial and paid-for advertising, it’s timely that these principles are being launched to provide guidance to advertisers and publishers about how they should guarantee transparency for consumers,” said Tapper.

The introduction of the principles has been met with approval from those in the native content industry.

Rakhal Ebeli, CEO of content creation company Newsmodo, which creates content used by native advertisers, said it was vital consumers were aware when content has a commercial imperative.

“In my own experience as a user I think it is a good step that there are now some guidelines,” Ebeli told Mumbrella.

“This is heading in a good direction and being native should not detract from the content and even work in favour of the advertisers. My honest position is this should be for the benefit of the end user.

Simon Canning


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