By Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | January 08 2014
The Grey Lady aka The New York Times unveiled a new digital look – its first since April 2006 – which incorporates native advertising today. Native advertising is a form of advertising that mimics content. The emerging advertising method is still surrounded with controversy.
Some analysts have accused The Times of going lowbrow in adopting this type of advertising which blurs the traditional demarcation between editorial and advertising. According to Times CEO, Mark Thompson, native advertising will help to shore up its digital ad revenue.
In my opinion, the new look, which mirrors the print product is sleek, clean and just invites the reader to engage with the content. You can see the redesign by following this link: http://www.nytimes.com/redesign/, which The Times says provides a more immersive reading experience with navigation between stories a click, swipe or tap away.
According to AdAge, Dell is the first advertiser to buy into the native advertising program, which is a three-month campaign costing six-figures. The ads are clearly labeled, “Paid For and Posted by Dell.”
“At the bottom of the page is another disclaimer: “This page was produced by the Advertising Department of The New York Times in collaboration with Dell. The news and editorial staffs of The New York Times had no role in its preparation,” states AdAge. “Such labeling goes beyond most native ads, which typically use somewhat ambiguous language like “sponsored” or “branded” content.”