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The New York Times Launches Native Advertising
By: Amanda Markell
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During the first week of January, The New York Times introduced for the first time native advertising to their website. As the keeper of breaking news and fact-based journalism, this was a controversial announcement.
 
You will find the native ad very transparent, marked boldly as "Paid post by Dell" and disclosed with the line "This page was produced by the Advertising Department of The New York Times in collaboration with Dell. The news and editorial staffs of The New York Times had no role in its preparation." Even the URL for the page begins with http://paidpost.nytimes.

Go ahead and take a look at this example of the advertorial post created by Dell. The content of the post discusses the idea of private-sector entrepreneurs lending a hand to help the public sector improve through "Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIR) concept centers." At the close of the post there is a relevant reference to Dell’s work in these concept centers, but other than that there are no traces of Dell promotion to be found. From Dell’s post you can link easily to their Tech Page One blog, which surely has driven an uptick in Dell blog visits since this native ad launch.

Other NYT posts by Dell talk about subjects of millennials in the workplace, marketing tech, and women entrepreneurs.

So how did the New York Times choose Dell to be the guinea pig for this new business strategy? Adweek explains that Dell was a safe choice because they have a newsroom of their own and therefore experience with creating this type of content.
 
Digital Advertorial content is not avoiding scrutiny from the industry and regulatory bodies. If fact, the Federal Trade Commission became so alerted by the trend they organized a workshop in December called Blurred Lines. The purpose of this workshop was to explore how to ensure transparency in an environment where advertising content is becoming more and more popular. According to the Federal Trade Commission, 73% of publications offer native advertising and 17% are considering it.
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The NYT has let readers know that a handful of clients have already committed to future native advertising campaigns, but we do not know yet who those advertisers will be. To handle the workload, the New York Times created a new unit titled Content Studio. They seem to work almost like an agency, pitching potential stories to the advertisers.
 
Do you feel native advertising on the NYT jeopardizes their reputation? Or is it simply the sustainable revenue model of the future? Let us know @digitalpivot.


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About the Author
Amanda Markell is a marketer in the Greater Boston Area with a passion for branding, new media, and customer insights. 
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