Advertising in disguise? How disclosure and content features influence the effects of native advertising

Johannes Beckert 1 , Thomas Koch 2 , Benno Viererbl 3 , Nora Denner 4 , and Christina Peter 5
  • 1 Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 2 Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 3 Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 4 Department of Communication, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany
  • 5 Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, München, Germany
Johannes Beckert, Thomas Koch, Benno Viererbl, Nora Denner and Christina Peter

Abstract

Native advertising has recently become a prominent buzzword for advertisers and publishers alike. It describes advertising formats which closely adapt their form and style to the editorial environment they appear in, intending to hide the commercial character of these ads. In two experimental studies, we test how advertising disclosures in native ads on news websites affect recipients’ attitudes towards a promoted brand in a short and long-term perspective. In addition, we explore persuasion through certain content features (i. e., message sidedness and use of exemplars) and how they affect disclosure effects. Results show that disclosures increase perceived persuasive intent but do not necessarily decrease brand attitudes. However, disclosure effects do not persist over time and remain unaffected by content features.

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