- U.K. publication The Guardian has signed Unilever as the first client of its newly developed in-house branded content unit, Guardian Labs.
- Unlike many other publications, The Guardian (and Unilever as well) will be allowing, even encouraging, readers to interact with native ads by posting comments and videos.
- Guardian Labs will also not be shying away from using journalists to help create content because, as the Guardian News Media Deputy CEO David Pemsel said, "...they have ideas. It would be sort of mad not to tap into that knowledge.”
The main difference between The Guardian's attitude towards native advertising and many other publishers is that the U.K. publication doesn't seem afraid of the idea. By creating a 133-member team to tackle sponsored content, it is easy to see the publication is serious about it. Fully embracing the practice and using strategy to ensure it provides value to readers could put The Guardian at an advantage. As long as it is transparent, there is no reason The Guardian should alienate any readers by creating a large volume of branded content.