An episode of South Park recently comically highlighted a growing problem on the web. In the episode, the kids of South Park, Kyle, Eric, Kenny and Stan discover a sinister plot to make people complacent with ads, so others can take over the world. “Every time you block us, we get smarter!” Says one ad that is actually in 4th grader human form.
The episode, of course, is partially based in reality, with a South Park style twist, and possibly a sign that people are getting sick of pop up ads, pop under ads and news or blog sites with more ad space than space for the site’s actual content. Even more confusing and frustrating is that now, sites have more and more advertorials, which makes it even harder to tell the difference between content and ads. In a study of 509 consumers, most people mistake advertorials, or what is also known as native ads, for real content on the site. However, most people didn’t even remember the brands mentioned in the articles, and if they did recognize the content as an advertorial, they typically thought less of the publication overall.
People who are really fed up with ads usually use an ad blocker, but there is nothing out there that can tell you if content is organic or actually an ad.
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