‘Native’ Offers Consumers a Glossary of Deception

2016 05 24   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

What’s even more vexing than the insanity of trying to wade through the terms of deception is one of the comments responding to “Native Advertising Definitions Continue to Confuse” (MediaPost Native Insider, April 27).

The article itself is tongue-in-cheek , taking a poke at the industry from the inside. At least one of the comments below the post, however, demonstrates just how institutionalized the art of native deception is: The commentator offers up 15 years of expertise on how to jump the shark and reveals how publishers can be trusted … if you’re an advertiser.

Guess who is omitted there? The consumer. All of the puffery and misdirection would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that the end game is the deception of tens of millions of consumers – all in the name of greed.

The pursuit of profit without a conscience is the special province of online; print, radio and TV have rules about what you can say and how it must be identified. No such standards exist online. Sure, the Interactive Advertising Bureau spouts off a variety of terms it claims are clarifying, but when the Federal Trade Commission issues guidelines, the IAB pooh-poohs them. Then you get further obfuscation of the truth of what you’re reading, with a 15-plus year history of institutionalized consumer deception.