We thought a lot about native advertising. Having our content in front of folks who are reading the New York Times, without it screaming THIS IS AN AD, seemed very attractive.
But that seems a short-term gain. We assumed the majority of people clicking those native ads would be confused and ultimately upset that we tricked them into following a link that was part of an actual story. There was too much confusion and potential for degrading our collective efforts.
In the first season of the Startup podcast, the team grappled with this very issue with their spoken advertising (even more dangerously confusing).
If ads actually build value for the reader / listener / watcher, who cares if they are labeled an ad?