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Abstract

Native advertising, which matches the look and feel of unpaid news and editorials, has exploded online. The Federal Trade Commission has long required advertising to be clearly and conspicuously labeled, and it recently reiterated that these requirements apply to native advertising. We explore whether respondents can distinguish native advertising and "regular" ads from unpaid content, using 16 native ads, 5 ''regular" ads, and 8 examples of news / editorial content, drawn from multiple sources and plat forms. Overall, only 37% of respondents thought that the tested examples of native
advertising were paid content, compared to 81% for "regular" advertising, with variation by plat for m, advertiser, and labeling.

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