engine - 7:01 pm on Dec 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
The growing online usage of ads designed to blend in with the rest of a website's content, a practice known as "native advertising," may be illegal in some instances, the Federal Trade Commission warned on Wednesday.
The FTC said that a survey of online publishers found that 73 percent allowed native advertising, the digital descendent of the newspaper "advertorial" and television's infomercials.
"Marketers have ... moved past the banner ad into advertising that is more seamlessly, and inconspicuously, integrated into digital content," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a speech that opened a conference on "Blurred Lines: Advertising or Content."
"While native advertising may certainly bring some benefits to consumers, it has to be done lawfully," she said. "By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying, deceptively, that the information comes from a non-biased source."U.S. F.T.C.: Online Ads Must Be Clearly Marked as Ads To Avoid Deception [reuters.com]
I wonder if this is why Google is testing these higher profile ads.
Google Testing AdWords With Bright Orange/Yellow "Ad" Logo [webmasterworld.com]