Native advertising, copywriting – or both?

Back in October, we wrote about how the New York Times was launching an offshoot of its T Brand Studios native advertising subsidiary in London.

Now it has produced its first work – for emerald producer Muzo. It focuses on the company’s mines and is running for a month to coincide with Baselworld, the high-end watch festival.

According to Digiday, Muzo produced most of the copy and images while T Brand supplied editorial direction and headline writing. This comes over in the reading. While interesting and well-produced, the piece does not look like editorial.

It also raises a question over what constitutes native advertising as distinct from content marketing. Does it need to be recognisable as editorial?


In the US, T Brand Studios is probably best known for its campaign for the Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

Speaking back in October, T Brand director Kaylee King-Balentine said: “We see huge interest in Europe, but in Asia we could move in as the trendsetter because native advertising hasn’t really picked up there yet, despite there being an appetite for it. We’d like to be an industry leader in Asia.”

However, some believe the agency could struggle to gain traction in the UK, where there is already a large number of content marketing agencies and strength in depth in terms of journalism.

Native advertising, copywriting – or both? is part of Content24, the online magazine for London content marketing agency FirstWord.