New York Times adman gushes over native advertising performance

By James Robinson , written on July 22, 2014

From The News Desk

Having dispensed with its native advertising suspicious executive editor, The New York Times remains tremendously bullish on the new institution. For all the editorial damnation of it as the doomed attempt of a dying industry to save it soul and the opinion polls tut-tutting about how we feel tricked by it all, The Grey Lady is becoming one of native advertising's biggest cheerleaders. At the Native Advertising Summit in San Francisco this afternoon, The New York Times’ VP of Advertising Sebastian Tomich and MEC’s Kristine Segrist (the media agency that represents Netflix) reflected triumphantly on their recent partnership to promote the second season of ‘Orange is the New Black’. In May the paper reported that its sponsored content -- having done series with Dell, United and Goldman Sachs -- was proving to be as read as its editorial. Tomlich added to that chorus of support, saying that the Orange is the New Black-inspired content series on women inmates in America cracked the top 10 most read articles on the site, with fifty percent of its traffic coming from social media and 60 percent from mobile. It became a story in itself, with media pickups driving an added 50,000 page views. Lest anyone then pick up the old party line that native advertising might get clicked on, but it isn’t well read, MEC’s Segrist pitched in that on most days that the campaign ran, time spent with the Orange is the New Black content rivaled time spent with the top New York Times editorial. “We can buy page views… but we can’t buy time spent,” Segrist said, euphorically. The New York Times jumped “full force” into native 12 months ago, according to Tomich. “It’s been incredibly successful,” he said. “Success is limitless with this type of advertising.” [image adapted from wikipedia]