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Native advertising must be "credible, authentic and value-adding" in order to bring success, Bauer Media's Abby Carvosso explained at today's Guardian Changing Media Summit.

Carvosso, Bauer's group managing director, London Lifestyle, was speaking just over a month after the launch of the company's first digital-first offering, The Debrief.

Aimed at young women and with a strong focus on lifestyle content tailored around reader habits, The Debrief launched in February and will be funded largely by native advertising.

Here are her tips for making native advertising work.

Add value

Carvosso noted that, in her experience, The Debrief's target audience of 20-something women is "more receptive" to native advertising than older audiences, so long as it adds value to their experience.

The key is to tap into what the audience is interested in, their tastes in fashion, music, film and hobbies for example, in order to bring benefit to readers.

Carvosso explained that the platform's advertising content was shared "in the same way that our other content is shared, because it's value-adding".

"As long as it's engaging and entertaining to our readers it's good content," she said, 'whether that's content from us or content we've sourced from advertisers."

Be clear and authentic

A vital point for publishers, Carvosso said, is being "really clear" about the distinction between editorial content and native advertising to maintain the readers' trust.

"It has to be authentic," she explained. "They [the audience] don't want to be hoodwinked, for want of a better word.

"So the way we word it is [clothing brand] 'H&M', for example, 'made this happen'."

AOL UK and the Huffington Post proposed the introduction of guidelines for native advertising at the end of last year.

Be consistent

Carvosso also pointed out the importance of any sponsored content to be consistent with the style and tone of the platform on which it appears.

This not only helps readers to identify with the content, but it means they are much more likely to read it.

"It has to be in the voice of the brand", Carvosso said. "It's not about a brand just promoting a brand. It's about creating great content."

The responsibility to ensure the right tone, she added, lies with both the publisher and with the advertising partner.

Seek out like-minded partners

The Debrief prides itself in knowing its audience's habits well.

Editor Hattie Brett previously told that content on Saturdays would focus around hair and make-up tips as readers get ready for a night out, and the site would publish a cooking franchise on Mondays when readers were likely to stay in and cook with their housemates after a "heavy weekend".

Before the site launched, Carvosso explained that the team created a list of brands they believed wanted to talk to the reader "in her language, as though she was talking to her friends".

As well as H&M, The Debrief is now working with partners including Bacardi and O2 as a result of this policy.

"If a partner brand is not like-minded," she said, "you shouldn't be working with them".

She added that native advertising would also "work better" with like-minded partners on board, because the audience would be more receptive to what they had to offer.


Carvosso noted that the site was very new and many of the models were still "very much in tester mode" at the moment.

She explained that part of the success behind native advertising is not being afraid to experiment.

"It's about reshaping the rules and working with brands on different levels," she said.

"As our consumers change, we have to evolve with them."

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