Some would consider Condé Nast, its lifestyle magazines fat with sumptuous fashion and beauty ads, an originator of native advertising — or at least advertising that blends in seamlessly with its editorial content.
But in fact, the publishing house has only just now embraced native ads in earnest. Its first corporate-wide native ad, for Pantene, is live on four of the company’s women’s sites (Self, Glamour, Style and Lucky), and a template for its men’s titles is in the works.
In going native, Condé Nast may seem, once again, a little behind the times. Rivals like The New York Times, Time Inc. and Hearst have been out with native ad offerings for a while. Condé also was slow to create standalone websites for its titles and embrace other changes that threatened its core business, like the rise of programmatic ad buying.
But Condé has rarely been a company to take a top-down approach, and Lou Cona, president of the Condé Nast Media Group, pointed out that brands at the company like Vanity Fair andWired have already been creating their own native ads.
“The individual [Condé] brands have been doing this for a while — this is the first time we’re doing it at scale,” he said. “It’s more important to get it right than to be first.”