Fake News is bad for your brand.
Fake News is big news these days. Over half of British adults say that they worry about Fake News. There is huge scrutiny of the Fake News infrastructure by legislators, the Government, the media and consumer activists. Part of that infrastructure is highly partisan, hate-filled sites that systematically present conspiracy theories and untruths as facts.
A number of Fake News sites fund their activities through carrying advertising, often for big brands. They use clickbait headlines and social media to draw people into their content, which is monetised using big intermediary platforms like Google’s advertising service. Stop Funding Fake News operates simply by informing big brands that their adverts are appearing on these sites and therefore funding their activities.
The truth is that most of the clicks generated for these sites are for the worst of their output. Adverts are being served up alongside conspiracies, illiberalism, lies, racism and misogyny, which sadly is what generates most controversy. That's not good for your brand which will be associated with those negative sentiments in readers' minds. Likewise, advertising agencies which place their clients’ adverts next to offensive and dishonest content risk doing damage to their brands. Just as most agencies would never embarrass their clients by purchasing advertising space in an offensive magazine, they shouldn’t do it on fake news websites.
Furthermore, we will continue to highlight the presence of brands’ advertising on Fake News sites. Not taking action is no longer an option - as digital ad buyers around the world are realising, there is a social and commercial cost to advertising on Fake News sites.