Media Briefing’s Jasper Jackson describes ethical bright side of native advertising surge

London – Like marketing counterparts in the USA, British publishers are wrestling with native advertising’s “gray areas.”  As content rules develop, considerable trial and error will be par for the course. “Eventually most of us will get it right,” says Jasper Jackson, editor and chief analyst of the MediaBriefing.  “But of course, some will always get it wrong.”

Founded in 2010, TMB has acquired a well-deserved reputation as “the intelligence platform for the global media industry.” ASBPE ethics committee chairman Howard Rauch makes it a point to post discussions on TMB’s LinkedIn group site.  In the past, Jackson interviewed Rauch about B2B ethical dilemmas posed by mounting advertiser pressure for favorable editorial exposure.

So far, Jackson has materialized as the rare industry observer who sees an ethical bright side emerging once all the native advertising pioneering dust has settled. For the most part, he notes, the emphasis is on delivering high take-away value.  As a result, editors “will have an increased ability to resist pressures” for exposure in a more commercial vein.

It is unlikely that native advertising will die a quick death, Jackson told ENU during a telephone interview.  Advertisers know that people don’t look at banner ads as much as in the past.  Therefore, a clearly more favorable option is ad placement “located within the editorial stream.”

Earlier during the interview, ENU raised the issue of quality as a top ethical concern.  During an ethics workshop held at a recent ASBPE conference, participants ranked quality slippage as a major shortfall.  Was a similar slippage visible among British B2B publishers?

“It’s very much a mixed bag here,” Jackson responded.  Some publishers lack the resources to pursue marketing diversification across all properties.  Result? The most promising brands receive maximum support.  Others draw the financial short straw, because it would be too expensive to close them down.