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Peer39 and NewsGuard partner to help brands avoid fake news and untrustworthy sites

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News content accounts for nearly one out of every five targetable ad impressions online, creating a clear opportunity for advertisers looking to reach engaged consumers. Yet for all of the legitimate content available, fake news remains a scourge on the internet, with legitimate-looking sites popping up to take advantage of programmatic buying automation while propagating misinformation.

Naturally, brands looking to buy news content want to avoid the divisive issues and low credibility associated with fake news. Peer39 and NewsGuard have collaborated on a new solution that helps brands find the right people in the right context, while also ensuring that ads appear alongside content from legitimate news media.

Peer39, the leading provider of page-level intelligence, has incorporated NewsGuard’s database of trust ratings for thousands of news and information websites as an added layer of protection for advertisers using its offering. The service means brands can target their ad campaigns on thousands of trusted news sources while avoiding misinformation flagged by NewsGuard’s team of trained journalists. This includes a flag specifically for COVID-19, which NewsGuard’s analysts have been cataloguing in the company’s Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Centre.

“We’re seeing in this crisis just how crucial quality journalism is, with millions relying on their local news organisations for information they can trust amid all of the inaccurate information being shared,” said David Chavern, CEO of the News Media Alliance, which represents hundreds of news publishers. He continued by stressing the importance of brands continuing to advertise on news content: “Advertisers who flee from news content in this time are not only damaging the journalism industry, they’re endangering public health and safety. We applaud Peer39 and NewsGuard for offering brands a way to continue advertising on trusted news sources while avoiding misinformation sites.”

The offering is available today through MediaMath and AppNexus and will be available through most major demand-side platforms (DSPs) in the coming weeks.

“The relationship between advertiser and publisher needs to be built on trust and credibility, but deceitful, opportunistic publishers of fake news have led advertisers to hold money back, even from legitimate content, out of fear about content credibility,” said Mario Diez, CEO, Peer39. “This partnership allows advertisers to invest in the News category with full confidence, knowing that they have detailed page-level intelligence, at scale, with the most rigorous data on source quality available for news websites built right in.”

The data set covers all the news and information sites that account for 95% of online engagement in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and US and includes flags for specific categories of false news, such as health misinformation, conspiracy theories, and hoax stories, enabling advertisers to target their campaign more granularly to avoid certain kinds of unreliable sites.

“Without a good way to determine reliability of news content, many advertisers have simply chosen to avoid advertising on news content altogether,” said Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO, NewsGuard. “This is bad for the financially challenged journalism industry, bad for democracy and bad for public health. It’s also a missed opportunity for those brands to reach valuable and engaged audiences. Advertisers using our new offering with Peer39 can avoid running campaigns on all of those sites with the check of a box in their DSP.”

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