Navigating the age of misinformation: Safeguarding your brand in the era of “Made for Advertising” websites

In an age where information flows rapidly, brand integrity can be jeopardised by the proliferation of misinformation, ‘Fake News’ and the recent rise of ‘Made for Advertising’ (MFA) websites.

In an age where information flows rapidly, brand integrity can be jeopardised by the proliferation of misinformation, ‘Fake News’ and the recent rise of ‘Made for Advertising’ (MFA) websites. A recent report by NewsGuard uncovered a disconcerting trend: more than 140 major brands were inadvertently supporting junk websites. The growth of these platforms, where low-quality content is exploited to generate advertising revenue, has been fueled by the acceleration in AI, and the US-based Association of National Advertisers estimates that a staggering US$13 billion is wasted globally on these sites every year.

And this is a growing problem for the advertising industry. Programmatic media buying relies on algorithms, with limited human input, to determine ad placements across various websites. This lack of human monitoring can result in major brands unknowingly funding ad placements on obscure or unreliable sites, an unsettling reality given the potential damage to brand reputation. But programmatic advertising in itself is not the problem. When supported by the correct safety nets,  such as applying comprehensive inclusion and exclusion lists across all media buys, this concern can be mitigated. But this isn’t always the case with every vendor.

So how can you make sure that your advertising isn’t funding these junk sites, and how do you keep your brand image untarnished in the age of misinformation?

Enhanced transparency in ad placement: Implement measures to enhance transparency in your programmatic media buying process. Regularly review and vet the websites where your ads are placed to ensure alignment with brand values.

Support credible journalism: Actively direct advertising investment towards credible, fact-based journalism. This not only contributes to the promotion of reliable information but also positions your brand as a supporter of trustworthy content.

Stay informed and adaptive: In the rapidly evolving landscape of misinformation, staying informed is crucial. Keep abreast of industry trends, emerging technologies, and best practices to adapt strategies accordingly.

Utilise AI for brand safety: Leverage the power of AI to monitor and identify potential disinformation campaigns. It sounds counter-initiative, but investing in other AI tools that can analyse vast amounts of data in real-time can help detect and mitigate risks to brand safety.

We get it, it’s complicated. On one side, AI has facilitated the creation and dissemination of disinformation on an unprecedented scale. However, on the flip side, AI presents an opportunity to detect and combat disinformation in real-time across diverse languages and domains. When harnessed appropriately, AI becomes a powerful ally in the fight against the rise of junk sites and the disinformation they spread.

The era of misinformation and emerging AI poses challenges, but with vigilance, responsibility, and the right use of technology, brands can navigate this landscape successfully. By taking proactive steps to ensure ad placements align with brand values and by harnessing the capabilities of AI for brand safety, advertisers can not only protect their brand image but also contribute to a more trustworthy online environment.

Working with a trusted programmatic partner like Crimtan can help ensure your ads are never placed alongside inappropriate content and your campaigns remain brand-safe and compliant, whilst achieving maximum efficiency and performance. To find out how we can help you navigate this complex landscape, contact us today.