The Federal Trade Commission delivered the advertising industry an early holiday present in mid-December in the form of a staff report entitled “Blurred Lines: An Exploration of Consumers’ Advertising Recognition in the Contexts of Search Engines and Native Advertising.” The report is a summary of research conducted by the agency from 2014 to 2015 (following the agency’s public workshop on native advertising in December 2013) to determine the extent to which consumers are able to recognize “an ad as an ad”, specifically in the context of search advertising and “native advertising.” The study also explored how “modest” modifications to advertisement disclosures, consistent with the FTC’s previously-issued guidance, may improve consumer recognition of advertisements.

Read the full analysis here.