Native Advertising Is Broken. Here's How To Fix It
By: Fast Company
In 2016, just 32% of Americans trust the mainstream media—down 8% since last year. By comparison, 78% trust the technology industry. Heck, even 51% of people trust the financial industry.
These existing trust issues contributed to the media industry’s latest crisis: the spread of fake news across Facebook, which likely influenced the election. A BuzzFeed report found that the top 20 fake news stories about the election were shared 1.4 million times more than the top 20 real news stories. When Americans don’t trust verified news sources, they’re more likely to believe the "reports" pushed out by fake news sites.
Amid this controversy, it’s hard not to wonder about the ramifications of native advertising. For the past few years, media critics like Jeff Jarvis and Andrew Sullivan have worried that native ads, which resemble editorial content but are actually sponsored by brands, confuse readers and erode trust in publishers.