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AOP releases The Power of Native research report

The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) yesterday released the findings of its latest bespoke research report, The Power of Native.

The report, which was launched at the AOP Native Advertising Forum, reveals a number of key findings around this highly publicised emerging advertising format. This includes consumer attitudes towards native advertising on premium content websites and the impact of native ads on key brand metrics, and also outlines five key components that publishers and advertisers can adopt to create effective native ads.

Other key insights from the research show that native adverts garner greater levels of trust among consumers with a third (33%) more likely to trust native adverting than traditional advertising, and that clicking on a native ad driver on a premium content website has greater impact than clicking via Facebook.

Tim Cain, Managing Director, AOP commented: “Native is one of the biggest topics in digital publishing right now. This study is a significant piece of research into the power of native advertising, and provides best practice for publishers and advertisers to make their native adverts work harder. The study is extensive, but one key takeaway from the findings is that advertisers should be mindful of taking ‘the hard sell’ if native advertising is too direct it can damage positive brand messaging.”

Lynne Springett, Insight Director, Time Inc. UK said: “This research on native advertising has proved some valuable points. If you get it right by developing original content for a brand, in a tone of voice to which the consumer already relates, then it taps into an existing emotional connection that does the ‘heavy lifting’ in tasks such as shifting brand perception, raising awareness or increasing propensity to buy making it popular with consumers, advertisers, and publishers alike.

“To get it right, publishers need to be transparent and make it clear who is bringing consumers this content. The audience tends not to mind that it is paid-for as long as publishers are clear about it and make sure it is interesting and engaging, and not just about the advertiser’s own product. As Howard Gossage said, ‘People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad.’”

Key findings from the report include:

Native ads are interesting and informative: The study demonstrates that attitudes towards native advertising are positive with three in five (59%) consumers claiming to find native advertising ‘interesting’. When compared to traditional advertising, 42% more consumers find native ad drivers interesting and twice as many find them informative.


Native ads on premium content sites are more trustworthy and engaging than those on social media: Clicking on a native advert driver in a premium content environment has greater impact compared to clicking on a native ad driver on Facebook.

The average uplift of native adverts compared to traditional adverts on brand trust was significant, with a third of respondents (32%) accessing the native driver on a premium content website compared to 1% accessing the native driver via the social media stream.

Traditional ads can support native ads: Interestingly, when supported by traditional advertising, native advertising saw an uplift of 38 percentage points across key brand metrics*, when compared with unsupported native ads.

AOP members can download the report from the members’ area of the website at For non-member enquiries on how to obtain a copy, please email