By living in a world that is directly led by Internet content, it’s not a stretch to say that our attention spans are wearing thin.

It may be all fun and games on the surface, as you scroll down your Facebook feed checking up on what you missed out on over the weekend and hashtagging yourself silly, but on the online journalism side of things, its complete mayhem!

From news editorials to 10 things you didn’t know about Bruce Willis’ divorce, we are all scrambling to get your attention, clawing our way to all corners of your screen in hopes that we’d be riveting enough for a click.

But in regards to this war for your interest, journalism has always had this wall that separates the editorial to the business side of news, but as of late, that wall has been smashed through by the maybe-miracle that is native advertising.

Native advertising is a method in which the advertiser attempts to grab your attention by providing content in the context of the user’s experience by matching the visual design or message with what they’re already comfortable with. By doing so, the paid and branded advertising feels less intrusive and will inadvertently increase the likelihood of you actually clicking.

As this may sound like an amazing solution, our morals and integrity actually come into play here as a lot of native advertising disguises itself as actual news.

But what other choice do we have, as one scary statistic shows that people only intentionally click on banner ads 0.17% of the time. Still, is this the right way to go?

We don’t know either! So here’s a list of pros and cons for all you discerning readers out there:


Why go native? Well it’s a crazy lucrative business! If you look at the results, it’s pretty astounding. Some pages base their entire business model around native advertising. For example, BuzzFeed gets 100% of its revenue from branded and sponsored content.


It’s basically ads selling products camouflaged to look like news on your wall. This defies the separation between church and state, where you’re essentially being tricked into not only clicking but also believing an article through a nondependent source.


25% more people see them on their social media as well as 97% of mobile media buyers report that native ads were very effective at achieving their branding goals. This is not only good for business but also challenges the creativity of online advertising.


Reports also show that less than half the consumers can actually distinguish the difference between native advertising from real news – which is actually very worrying. With big brands controlling the news, the reliability and impartial nature of a good report is now tainted – skewed away from the pursuit of truth to satisfy single-minded and self-serving agendas.

But no matter which side of the fence you’re on, this is where online publication is heading, whether you like it or not. Publishers that include Time Inc, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and The Guardian as well as media companies like Thought Catalog and so on, are all adhering to this method of journalism for the sake of simply staying afloat.

This only makes sense, as there can be no such thing as free and independent press if nobody is willing to pay for it. So with hopes of putting the freedom back in journalism, maybe do us all a favour and start clicking on more banner ads once in awhile.

How effective is native advertising for your brand?

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

Don’t want to miss out on the weekly shots of branding? Subscribe to our e-newsletter.