‘Sponsored’ Brings Suspicion: Report Shows Paid Posts Have A Reputation Problem

While native advertising has been the hot topic over the past year, it turns out that this ad type may be leaving users feeling burned. Contently, a content creation company, took a deep dive into how native advertising is perceived by audiences. The short answer — not well.


A survey was implemented between users 18-65 that was administered online. The first finding was that “sponsored content” came with a very wide array of thoughts as to what it is.

While 48.2% of respondents believed that the sponsor paid for and influenced the article, another 20% believed that the news site wrote the content (but that the sponsor’s money allowed it to happen),  18.0% believed that the sponsor simply pays to have their name next to the ad, and 12.6% thought that the sponsor paid and wrote the article.

Of course there is no right answer to this question as each publisher has different sponsored offerings. The item important to note is that the majority of respondents knew that the sponsor had influence on the article.


While the majority were armed with the thoughts that sponsors had some impact on the article, Contently found that 66.42% of respondents would be less likely to click on that article. A minor 0.74% said that they would be more likely to click and 32.84% said it would have no impact. So this puts the question out there — are sponsored articles better than banner ads?


It turns out that the majority of users across all age groups and demographics would rather see banner ads. The more educated a respondent was, the less they wanted to see a sponsored story. While native may be effective, it’s not a welcomed ad type.Deception

Even further, 66.8% of respondents felt deceived when they realized that an article or video was sponsored by a brand. Again, the more education a respondent had, the more deceived they felt.

Overall, the majority of respondents (53.9%) generally do not trust sponsored content, while 4.8% generally do trust sponsored content. There are a few exceptions, however, as 18.8% trust sponsored content from trustworthy publications, and 22.5% trust sponsored content if they already trust the brand.

For the full results, chars and breakdowns, head over to Contently for the full report.

Related Topics: Channel: Content Marketing | Content Marketing | Display Advertising | Statistics: Online Advertising


About The Author: is the Director of Marketing for Cypress North, a company that specializes in social media and search marketing services and web-based application development. He has been in the Internet marketing industry for 6+ years and specializes in Social Media Marketing. You can also find Greg on Twitter (@gregfinn) or LinkedIn.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn

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