Issues in Discernment between Reportage and Sponsored Content in Online News

By: Alice Kendrick  

Issues surrounding the ability of readers to distinguish sponsored content (also called Native Advertising) is the focus of this poster. Sponsored content is a form of marketing communications used by advertisers in the hopes that their messages, which take on the look and feel of the website's non-sponsored content, will be noticed and read. Using Persuasion Knowledge as a theoretical backdrop, current disclosure practices among online news publishers for sponsored content will be compared in terms of verbiage used as well as whether existing research shows them to be effective in alerting readers to items that are not generated by journalists or the publication itself. Results from replications of the Stanford History Education Group's Civic Reasoning research, conducted among large samples of university students, are included. Results of these replications reveal key points of confusion among readers regarding language and graphic elements of publisher's disclosure statements. Ethical issues are also discussed.

Media Literacy, Native Advertising, Sponsored Content, Online News, Persuasion Knowledge
Media Literacies
Poster Session

Alice Kendrick

Professor, Temerlin Advertising Institute, Southern Methodist University, United States
United States

Alice Kendrick, Ph.D. is Marriott Professor of Advertising at the Southern Methodist University Temerlin Advertising Institute in Dallas, TX, USA.