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Folio: Let's be clear: Native advertising has the potential to be nothing short of a life preserver for digital publishers drowning in a swirling sea of ad blocking, growing skepticism among advertisers, and the realization that ad revenue relinquished to Facebook probably isn't coming back.

By its very nature, effective native advertising values quality over quantity, and it increasingly separates the wheat from the chaff — advertisers and publishers alike who place brand trust and the consumer experience above reaching the maximum number of eyes possible.

And so it is a bit perplexing that, according to a new study by ad sales consultant MediaRadar, 37 percent of digital publishers still do not comply with the FTC's exhaustively promoted native advertising guidelines.

These aren't stringent, myopic standards designed to stifle revenue. They essentially mandate what should already be a truism for any publisher: don't deliberately mislead your readers. If a piece of content is paid for by an advertiser and not produced by an editorial staffer, it should be obvious.

If altruism isn't justification enough, consider that the FTC can levy fines of up to $16,000 per violation, and while watchdogs — both government agencies and self-regulatory bodies — have typically gone after advertisers for campaigns considered beyond the pale, recent developments seem to herald a willingness to hold publishers responsible, as well.

 

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