How to label your native advertising correctly

10 Jul How to label your native advertising correctly

The most common fear we hear from both publishers and advertiser is that their native ad content will be perceived as deceiving to readers. While it’s important for native ads to fit in with other editorial content, it still needs to be properly labeled. The key is to not hide it, but rather be as transparent as possible with your audience.

We have been doing native advertising since it started, so we have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. Here are our tips on best practices for labeling your native advertising.

A marker

Do you have an obvious distinction between the native and regular editorial content? We recommend clients create some type of marker for their native ads. This could be a large banner or “sponsored content” in a bright color. You can see in the example, we have highlighted the sponsored ad which has a clear blue sponsored content label.

A short sponsored message

We believe it is a best practice to include a message that tells the readers who paid for the content above the article body. In this paragraph, we also recommend including a message that lets the leaders know it was created outside of the editorial department.

Why? This allows your paper to not appear bias towards one company or another, but instead just a mere platform for the advertiser to host their article. As you can see in our example, the message appears at the top of the page.

Useful title

Is the title intriguing to the reader? This type of title will not include your advertisers’ name. Instead, it should grab readers’ attention and/or summarize the content of the article. While that may scream “clickbait,” a high-quality native ad headline should not be misleading; it should be truthful, informative and useful. It’s important to find a balance between serving your readers and helping your advertisers reach a new audience.


These labels help prevent readers from feeling mislead as well as ensuring compliance with the new FTC guidelines. If done right, a majority of readers are okay with native advertising.

“86 % of readers are okay with native advertising” (INMA)

Want to learn more about native advertising or how a native ad should appear? View one of our three native ad samples:

What’s the Big Deal with Native Advertising?

native ad hero

How to be a Native Ad Hero

How to Make a Date with a Great Native Ad