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Can You Trust Your Media Partner?

You can’t trust every website online—especially when it comes to your ads. To protect your brand’s reputation, you need reputable media partner. Posted on Wednesday, July 12 in Building Your BrandBinghamtonElmiraIthacaRegional.

The most recent election shed light on the fake news phenomenon: fantastic, click-bait headlines that sensationalize misinformation and propagate lies. This element breads quickly on social media, garnering millions of likes, shares, and even followers. Sometimes these sites offer something as seemingly innocuous as a less-then-factual celebrity list, but they can also spread toxic, unsubstantiated “news” that can create confusion and cause hysteria. USA TODAY offers a look at how to spot fake news, but the truth is fake news outlets are always inventing new ways to lure in readers.

Where You Advertise Matters

In addition to serving up dubious information, these sites also serve up digital ads (and lots of them). Though traffic to these sites may be high, advertisers must weigh the potential reach against both the quality of the audience as well as their brand reputation. When it comes to digital advertising, an impression is not an impression—where you advertise matters.

For the “why” behind fake content, all you have to do is follow the money. The more visitors a site gets, the more ad revenue for its publisher. When evaluating a media partner or ad network, consider their content and decide whether or not you’d like your brand associated with it. And don’t forget to take a look at the ads currently running on their sites, as well. Fake, illegal, or misleading ads are even more prevalent than fake news. Google’s report, “How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016,” will give you a good idea of the types of ads to watch out for.

Google and Facebook Cracking Down

Both the search giant and social media’s reigning king have taken steps to ban fake news sites from using their advertising services. Google took action against 340 bad sites in 2016 [2] and has booted 200 fake news sites off of its ad network. [3] Additionally, the company took down 1.7 billion ads in violation of its policies and guidelines (up 136% from 2015). [4] Facebook continues to work on how it can curb fake news and clickbait stories from the site using new algorithms and other proprietary tools. [5]

Advertisers Growing Leery

Even with increased efforts to stop fake news, advertisers are increasingly cautious. In online advertising, brand safety is no small consideration. According to ComScore, ads delivered beside unsavory content can:

  • Waste advertising budgets
  • Damage a brand’s reputation
  • Diminish consumer trust
  • Result in public relations mishaps [6]

According to a recent survey, 96% of advertisers are concerned about fake news in programmatic advertising. Though 31% plan to reduce their ad spend, 55% intend to put more pressure on their media and marketing partners to ensure their ads appear on reputable websites. [7]

A Media Partner You Can Trust

We’ve got the credible platforms, authentic content, and valuable news that your customers trust. With our marketing expertise, insights, and tactics your ads will reach the right audience when they’re ready to buy. But don’t just take our word for it. Download our Media Partner Workbook to evaluate and compare local media partners and agencies.


[1] “How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016,” by Scott Spencer; Google; 01/26/2017

[2] “Google Cracked Down on 340 Fake News Sites Last Year,” by Elias Leight; Rolling Stone; 01/25/2017

[3] “Google has banned 200 publishers since it passed a new policy against fake news,” by Tess Townsend; Recode; 01/25/2017

[4] “Google Increases Regulation Of False Ads And Fake News,” by Charles Warner; Forbes; 01/25/2017

[5] “Facebook takes a new crack at halting fake news and clickbait,” by Mike Snider; USA TODAY; 05/17/2017

[6] “Brand Safety: Another Case for Increased Trust & Transparency in Digital Advertising,” by Andrea Vollman; ComScore; 04/06/2017

[7] “How will "Fake News" affect online ad budgets?;” Brightroll from Yahoo!, 5/30/2017

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