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."
Companies, such as Buzzfeed, successfully generate income from native ads already, with the Interactive Advertising Bureau revealing that 66 per cent of ad agencies and 64 per cent of advertisers planned to spend money on native ads in the next six months.
Ford has already suggested features sich as Money's Best Places to Live could be expanded to Sports Illustrated, which might run Best College Sports Towns, or Food & Wine, which could run Best Cities for Foodies.