Keib, Kate (Grady PhD student) ; Knowledge is Power: Recognition of Native Advertising Increases Credibility for Online News. To be presented at the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, May 2017
Today we encounter online content from a plethora of sources, in email, social media feeds and websites. Native advertising complicates this landscape, as this content mimics news but may be completely advertiser-influenced. Native advertising changes the public’s ability to assess the source, and thus credibility, creating content that has gained the attention of the FTC due to its potentially deceptive nature. Expanded Prominence Interpretation Theory, EPIT, was developed to address deception in online communication. In this experiment, we consider native advertising through the lens of EPIT. Contrary to previous work, results show that when consumers understand the nature of content, they rate credibility higher, and this effect was even more pronounced for loyal consumers of the news brand. This work bolsters past work on native ad disclosure positions and adds support to the EPIT model, suggesting credibility is a measurable part of a decision-making process between media and deception.