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Native ads are more effective at driving purchase intent than traditional display ads, according to fresh research from Oath.

The Verizon Media-owned company commissioned Sparkler to conduct various studies across the UK, France and Germany in which they asked over 6,000 participants to determine the value of native ad formats via behavioural tests for a set number of brands.

In the UK, 31% of people said the native ads they were shown across mobile and desktop devices drove purchase intent, for banner ads the figure was 27%. Overall, 15% of all UK respondents studied said they were more likely to consider a purchase from a brand if ads were presented as content, instead of as display ads.

Oath – which sells both formats – also claimed there was unrealised potential for brand advocacy as a result of investing in native. 24% of respondents said display units drove brand advocacy, against 30% who said native ads did. In total, 26% of those surveyed were more inclined to advocate for an advertiser who had used branded content to get their message across.

The study noted that native formats triggered greater positive subconscious reaction in UK consumers, resulting in a 10% increase in favourable brand associations.

Exploring the impact of native on mobile versus desktop, the study found that positive subconscious impact was more significant on those who viewed branded content on mobile, with a 28% increase over traditional display ads.

The research aimed to gain insight into the value of native beyond the traditional click through rate (CTR) measurement.

83% of people said they felt digital advertising was becoming more intrusive; a big uptick on the 62% who agreed back in 2014. 40% of 18-to-24-year-olds in the UK admitted to using an adblocker. 

According to Enders research, native will comprise 52% of all internet display spend in western Europe by 2020. 

Oath's insight follows on from a report earlier this week that it has agreed to pay $5m to settle charges around claims its display ads had violated children's privacy.