Native advertising news and updates from the team behind Respond, the native advertising platform.


Respond Is Revenue

Generate native advertising revenue with our Native SSP and Direct Sales Platform through your existing ad server.

  • Increase CPMs - Respond in-feed placements command premium rates
  • Improve CTRs - High CTRs of 1-5% keep advertisers coming back for more
  • Maximize Revenue - Get 30% plus more ad revenue by adding Respond
  • Optimize Efficiency - Respond follows all your existing ad ops workflows
  • Earn Everywhere - Respond ads work on all devices - desktop, tablet and mobile

We integrate with your existing ad tech, slot into your existing workflows, and plug into existing sources of demand. This means we can deliver dramatically more scale, efficiency and effectiveness for both buyers and sellers.

Join our clients in using Respond to directly sell native campaigns to brands and agencies, or to programmatically sell native inventory to multiple ad exchanges, DSPs and networks - all in one place.

Request a demo now and we'll be delighted to show you how we can help you generate new revenue.




Respond partners with Powerlinks to bring programmatic native ad revenue to premium publishers

We have some exciting news to share. PowerLinks, the programmatic native advertising platform, and Respond, our publisher platform for creating and delivering native ads, have partnered to create a comprehensive Native SSP. The Respond SSP, built on top of PowerLinks’ open and customizable technology, pairs demand from leading global buyers on the PowerLinks’ open exchange, with unique rich media and responsive features from the Respond Platform. The platform will enable publishers to easily create, manage and deliver custom native units that fit the look and feel of their site, using their existing ad tech.
The Native SSP gives publishers a simple way to access multiple sources of other non-standard and native demand in one place, from global trading desks, networks, DSPs and Content Marketing platforms. The platform also offers publishers complete control over the floor price, approval lists and ad types. Each ad is styled to the specific site design, made responsive for every device, and served through the publishers’ existing ad server to their existing ad tags, so no tech integration or workflow changes are required. 
According to a recent study, approximately 62% of publishers and 41% of advertisers have already begun to incorporate native into their strategy to harness improved engagement rates and better contextual relevancy.

Guy Cookson, Co-Founder of Respond, said of the partnership: “Our publisher clients want to generate native ad revenue beyond direct sales without adding more complexity to their tech stack, and without changing their workflows. 

“Our new Native SSP gives publishers a simple way to monetise their unsold native inventory from the world’s leading sources of demand, in one place, through their existing ad server.”
Kevin Flood, CEO of PowerLinks, said, “Our goal is to provide the open & customisable platform for buyers, sellers and marketing technology companies to develop and scale unique Native Advertising businesses without the burden of repetitive integrations & from-scratch development. 

“The Respond SSP will connect  premium publishers to a diverse marketplace of Native Ad buyers; transforming revenue whilst maintaining transparency and control. 

“This is a great example of the innovation which is driving unparalleled growth in the native advertising marketplace.”



Respond is Revenue - a sneak peek of our Media Slap ad

Respond is a headline sponsor at the forthcoming industry event for premium publishers in London, Media Slap, by The Drum. Here's a sneak preview of the print ad that will run in the delegate pack designed by our friends at Hotfoot Design.



Introducing the Native Advertising SSP from Respond

Do you have unsold native inventory?
Or want to better monetize your international traffic?
Or perhaps you'd like to try network ads before you sell native direct?

In every case we’ve got you covered. I'm delighted to announce Respond now offers the option to monetize your sites with native ads from the world’s leading mainstream and niche media buyers.

Through our partnership with Powerlinks, we offer you full SSP capabilities for your native ad placements. 

I'd welcome the chance to take you through the offering, and show how we can generate new revenue for you. Email me at

Multiple media buyers, complete control

You can choose to make some or all of your native inventory available to the multiple platforms and other external buyers that utilise PowerLinks both directly and indirectly around the world, including Advance Digital, Media IQ, GDM, Xasis, Vivaki, Infectious Media and MediaFed.

You are in complete control. Set your desired floor price, geos and specific ad placements you want to make available to buyers, and any white/black lists.

Getting started is fast and easy because Respond integrates with your existing ad tech - including DFP GTP tags - and we offer full support.

To start generating new native ad revenue contact me now.

More reasons to use Respond for your native ads in 2015

We help publishers make native advertising a success. Choose to monetise with network ads or sell native direct...

  • Higher CPMs - Respond ads sell at top of rate card CPMs
  • Bigger Budgets - Increase order values by 30%
  • Better ROI - 10x - 50x times higher CTR than premium display
  • Greater Efficiency - CMS & Ad Server integration (inc. DFP) for better workflow
  • Works Everywhere - Native to every site, responsive for every device
  • Fast Set-Up - Adding Respond to your site is now a simple process - our team is ready now

Give us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you in 2015. Contact me today




New year, new Respond Moleskine notebook

If you have meeting coming up with one of the team, be sure to ask for one :) 



Now we’ve got your attention: 2015 is the year native gets creative

We predicted 2014 would be the year native advertising came of age. We were right - advertisers assigned billions to native ads, and smart publishers smashed their sales targets with new native ad placements (many of which we’re proud to say were powered by Respond through our new DFP integration).

This year will be more of the same, with native ad spending predicted to hit $4.3 billion in 2015, a 34% increase on last year according to eMarketer, and account for 15% of agency display budgets in the UK.

But there will be changes too. Native ads are incredible at driving attention for advertisers. Eye-tracking shows vastly greater engagement, Respond CTRs are 10x-50x higher than other premium display units, and publishers can charge top of rate card prices as a result.

Advertisers now increasingly want to take native to the next level by doing more than just take users from a snappy in-stream headline to a sponsored article on a new page.

Brands and agencies want to instantly engage users with their creative in-page and without interruption. 2015 will see an explosion in creativity in native advertising.

It's time to have native advertising your way

Respond native ad placements come with a range of pre-built templates, the ability to create your own, and a powerful reporting SDK that enables your sales team to offer compelling native solutions in your media kits and respond to specific client briefs.

Here are just some of things you can do with Respond in 2015:

  • Display in-stream ads that expand on-click to reveal in-page creative templates e.g. for HTML5 or YouTube videos
  • Play in-stream videos on-scroll, click for audio
  • Build custom templates with any HTML element e.g. video, forms, call to action buttons, social sharing capabilities
  • Report beyond-the-click on dwell time and social shares

Contact us now to learn more

6 reasons to choose Respond for native ads in 2015

Publishers benefit from using Respond in important ways:

  • Higher CPMs - Respond ads sell at top of rate card CPMs
  • Bigger Budgets - Increase order values by 30%
  • Better ROI - 10x - 50x times higher CTR than premium display
  • Greater Efficiency - CMS & Ad Server integration (inc. DFP) for better workflow
  • Works Everywhere - Native to every site, responsive for every device
  • Fast Set-Up - Adding Respond to your site is now a simple process - our team is ready now

Give us the opportunity to show you what we can do for you in 2015. Contact us today 

A Brief Introduction to Respond for Premium Publishers



Dennis Publishing Launches Respond Native Ad Placements with Barclays, HP and Castrol

Dennis Publishing has launched a new range of native advertising placements as part of a trial across their portfolio of award-winning websites with native advertising platform Respond. The first set of campaigns for major brands including Barclays, HP and Castrol are running across sites including The Week, Auto Express, Evo and IT Pro.
The new native advertising placements are positioned "in-stream", where eye-tracking studies show users focus their attention, across both home and article pages. Clearly labelled as "Sponsored", the native ad units expand when clicked to display creative including video, or click-through to sponsored content.
Elaine dela Cruz, Digital Trading Director at Dennis Publishing said, "Our goal is to deliver an outstanding return on investment to our advertisers and a superb user experience for our readers. Native and content-led advertising is absolutely core to our direct sales proposition and Respond’s native advertising placements will work to strengthen our proposition."
Guy Cookson, co-founder of Respond, said, "Dennis have a portfolio of sites that is ideally suited to advertising that places a real value on their brands, content, and editorial environment. We are really enthused about working closely with the Dennis team to create and deliver innovative new native advertising placements that help relevant people to discover and engage with brand content at the right time and place." 
Dennis Publishing is one of the world’s leading independently owned media companies with a turnover in excess of £100 million a year and has won the prestigious Digital Publisher of the Year title at both the AOP and PPA Digital Awards of 2014. 21 million people a month visit one of Dennis’ 31 websites.
Respond is a product of Azullo, which was founded in the UK in 2009 by Guy Cookson and Andrew Dobson. After attracting funding from a group of leading technology investors, Respond was launched to help to pioneer native advertising as a new way to generate revenue for publishers by helping advertisers engage readers without compromising user experience. 



Native "a major improvement over banner ads"


But if native ads do become the de facto standard of online advertising, they will be a major improvement over banner ads. Both technologically and aesthetically, they do not sit apart from the content with which they appear. This makes them far less annoying to users. An ad for Levi’s on Instagram looks just as pretty as a photo from your friends. Even better, it does not take ages to load, does not crowd your screen with animations and is not a pain to dismiss.

The same is true for sponsored messages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard and other social networks; the ads are just not such a bother.

- Farhad Manjoo, Fall of the Banner Ad: The Monster That Swallowed the Web, New York Times



5 Ways Respond Makes Native Advertising Pay

Respond is the native advertising platform you’ve been waiting for.

Join leading sites like AutoExpress, The Week, Evo, PC Pro and The Drum in generating revenue from Respond powered native campaigns with leading brands and agencies like Mindshare, Experian, HP, Barclays and VW.

Contact us now >>

1. Get Higher CPMs

Respond ad placements are highly valued by brands and agencies. Our publisher clients charge top of rate card prices - typically £30 to £100 CPM depending on the vertical - when they sell Respond powered campaigns.

2. Get Bigger Budgets

Boost your average ad order value by 30% or more by adding a Respond native line item. Respond fully integrates with your existing ad server, so you can easily add native to the campaigns you sell using the same targeting, controls and inventory management.

3. Get Better ROI

Respond’s native placements achieve a 10x - 50x times higher CTR than other premium ad units, averaging 2% CTR, plus better engagement, leading to happy clients, higher rates and all-important renewals.

4. Get More Efficient

Create native ads instantly from any content, including your CMS, optimise in real time, and serve using your existing ad server. Respond ads are responsive for every device, and native to every site design in your portfolio. Respond slots right into your existing workflow, saving you time and money from day one.

5. Get Started Now

Respond works with your existing ad tech so you don’t need to add new code to the page. Unlike our competitors, we don’t charge for integration, training or support. For a low monthly fee you could join our clients and start generating six figures in new ad revenue before you know it.

Respond makes native advertising just work with in-stream ad placements, for any site, on any device. Learn more about Respond, or contact us now



"When advertising becomes disruptive to the flow, you have more engagement"

A nice quote by George Eid, partner and creative director of Area 17, which designed Quartz, on the benefits of in-stream advertising:

When advertising becomes disruptive to the flow, you have more engagement. You read an article, you get a word from our sponsors, and you read another article. It disrupts the flow but engages the user. In the righthand column, that process is destructive.



"The beauty of native advertising is that it removes misaligned incentives"

A great insight from Edward Kim, co-founder and CEO of SimpleReach, in Digiday:

The banner ad ties the worth of any given article to the views it generates. In a CPM-compressed environment, a great article might only be worth $10. The beauty of native advertising is that it removes misaligned incentives, and separates the editorial article from the ad product. No longer is a publisher’s revenue tied to any one article. Rather, a publisher’s value reflects the library of content it produces.
When a healthcare brand wants to run a native campaign to promote thought leadership, for example, its primary concern isn’t the traffic volume of the partner site. Instead, the brand seeks to partner with whichever publisher has created the highest-quality content in the space. With native advertising, the revenue incentives are aligned so that great content wins and attracts ad dollars. In absolute terms, the value brands are ascribing to quality content is higher than we’ve seen in a very long time.



"People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad."

A great response to John Oliver's hilarious takedown of native advertising by Dominic Mills in Mediatel:

It may be because it is a superb evisceration of native advertising, or it may be because it's the silly season, but comedian John Oliver's 11-minute rant on HBO last week about the evils of native advertising has got the chatterati going.

I've lost count of the number of people forwarding it to me. The way some people are talking you'd think native was like the Ebola virus.

Just plug it into Google and you can see the acres of comment and hand-wringing, including this from respected commentator Joe Marchese arguing that Oliver is a genius.

All this will be music to the ears of another commentator, Bob Garfield, a one-man Red Cross unit fighting the good fight against the pernicious epidemic that is native advertising.

But as the debate heats up, it's worth just standing back for a moment.

At this juncture, it seems an appropriate moment to introduce my favourite quote about advertising, from the now-deceased copywriter Howard Gossage, known by some as the Socrates of San Francisco.

He said: "People read what interests them, and sometimes it's an ad."

Though his quote pre-dates any concept of native advertising, or even its forerunner, the 'advertorial', Gossage's quote seems especially relevant.

Indeed, you could say that the whole BuzzFeed model (I see it now claims to do business with 76% of the 100-largest US advertisers) is inspired by Howard Gossage's dictum.

People read BuzzFeed because it interests them, and nearly all the time it's an ad. Judging by the traffic, they don't feel conned.

Read the rest here



Time is right for native

From The Drum:

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp is creating a new eight-person team specialising in developing native ads. 

Unveiled to staff in an memo from chief content officer Norm Pearlstine and executive vice president Mark Ford, the Time Inc. Native Group will work side-by-side with editorial staff. 

Also included in the memo was Chris Hercik, creative director of the Sports Illustrated Group, who was named VP of the new team. Hercik commented: "Creativity is agnostic, as long as it is mutually beneficial to the brand and the advertiser." 

The ads, which are designed to closely resemble editorial content, have come into criticism from editorial purists, but with the native ad business projected to grow 23 per cent this year Ford insisted: "We're not trying to trick people. We're just trying to create great content."



Upworthy finds native ads often outperform editorial

Upworthy says posts from advertisers get more attention than editorial posts.

I can't imagine editorial teams will be pleased to hear this, but it speaks to the power of a good native campaign - from AdAge:

"Three months ago the first major brand advertising campaign appeared on Upworthy, a mix of paid and curated posts promoting Unilever's Project Sunlight initiative. Now Upworthy is saying content from advertisers -- in the form of what it calls "promoted posts" -- regularly outperforms typical editorial posts on the site."




Infographic: The shift to native advertising



Banners get no love at Cannes as native rises

From Digiday:

The beleaguered banner ad has been a whipping boy at Cannes this year, despite still being a workhorse for so many who abused it.

Hating on banner ads is hardly new, but the digital media industry, including publishers that use them, made a particular point to denigrate them at Cannes this year. And the yin to the banner bashing’s yang was a love fest for native advertising, in all of its hard-to-define forms.

“Banners are a huge part of our business. There’s nothing wrong with them. But I’ll challenge any reader on this: Name one memorable banner campaign since banners were invented,” said The New York Times’s vice president of branded content Sebastian Tomich.

His comments came just moments after he and Times executive vice president Meredith Levien presented the paper’s portfolio of impressive native ads, including the headline-grabbing piece it created for Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.”

“Native does have the power to bring memorable, digital-first advertising,” Tomich added.



Content that readers find valuable

Ultimately, advertisers’ and publishers’ goals are aligned: to produce content that readers find valuable. Truthfully, neither party has vested interests in seeing this fail. Publications and sponsors would want nothing less than for native ads to go the way of banner ads.

As more and more publishers adopt native advertising, they will build out talented “branded content teams.” At the same time, advertisers’ marketing messages will evolve to focus less on aggressive short-term sales and to think about the bigger picture — the ideas and values they want to communicate to customers. In theory, this will lead to better user experiences because customers do not want to be sold products, they want to be sold a lifestyle.



Orange Is The New Black: Native advertising comes of age

Online audiences are oohing and ahhing over Netflix’s New York Times branded content on women inmates, tied to the hit series Orange Is the New Black.

While this is one of the first pieces created out of the Grey Lady’s T Brand Studio, Netflix isn’t new to the native advertising. And a source close to the situation told Adweek that Netflix was looking to ramp up on native ads/branded content because it is pleased with the outcome of the NYT effort as well as a recent initiative with Wired. A sponsored article with the tech-focused magazine on TV viewing habits was also lauded for editorial content.



Quote: Elizabeth Line of Condé Nast on native advertising and mobile

"Native advertising is particularly important for mobile since so many ads are in-stream and work best when they fit synergistically within the surrounding editorial content. Rather than disrupting the consumer experience, ads should be complementary."

- Elizabeth Line, Executive Director of Activation, Marketing Solutions at Condé Nast

(via Brand Perfect)

Comments: Elizabeth Line



Study: Native ads 2.5x better than programmatic at meeting digital branding objectives

A new study by Millward Brown has found that native advertising is considered by media buyers to be more effective for digital branding than any other advertising or marketing channel, except social: 

When asked what ad types “meet their digital branding objectives,” those surveyed—who could make multiple selections—answered with the following frequency: social (51 percent); native (46 percent); email (36 percent); paid search (23 percent); mobile Web (23 percent); “emotionally targeted” in-game (20 percent); mobile in-app (20 percent); programmatic (18 percent); regular in-game (14 percent); text messaging (12 percent); and ads purchased directly from websites and blogs (11 percent).

One of the benefits of native advertising is that the ad placements are usually placed in-stream, where they have a very high likelihood of being noticed and acted upon. The study found 37% of those questioned had concerns about programmatic due to banner blindness, which may help to account for why the respondents found native to two and half times more better at meeting digital branding objectives.

The company surveyed 300 marketers from Fortune 5,000 companies in 17 business categories.