Brand safety has become a top priority for advertisers globally. Especially in the age of digital and programmatic advertising, brands often lack the ability to control where on the internet their ads appear — and the necessary background information to decide if the websites are appropriate for their brand to be associated with. The biggest problem is posed by websites that peddle misinformation. Current technology using Artificial Intelligence is able to detect some sort of inappropriate content, but it continues to prove unable to detect and filter out hoax and other misinformation sites, the way that trained humans can.
That is why Meetrics, the leading European ad verification provider, and NewsGuard, a company that evaluates and rates the credibility and transparency of news and information websites, have partnered up to offer an innovative solution. Unlike services that rely only on Artificial Intelligence, NewsGuard’s unique database is created by trained journalists all over the world who are able to detect disinformation and misinformation using human intelligence instead of an algorithm. Combined with Meetrics’ in-depth analytics capabilities, this will provide advertisers with the necessary tools to effectively protect their brands from misinformation campaigns, and instead focus their ad campaigns on reliable news sites.
To do so, Meetrics has integrated NewsGuard’s database — containing more than 6,000 website ratings and related metadata — into its service. Advertisers can now avoid ad placements on websites that the team of trained, professional journalists at NewsGuard has identified as unreliable sources. Most importantly, this allows advertisers to respond to the pressing issue of misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic, and avoid giving money to websites that spread such potentially dangerous false claims, while supporting legitimate news publishers. Since the beginning of 2020, NewsGuard has catalogued 350 websites that spread coronavirus misinformation — and more are added almost every day.
“The level of disinformation on some websites reached an extent that demanded immediate action. For example, when recommendations are made in connection with COVID-19 that may cause long-lasting and severe health defects, and are strongly warned against by officials. Advertisers risk unknowingly placing their ads on such websites, and unwillingly endangering the consumers’ trust in their brand,” says Philipp von Hilgers, co-founder and managing director of Meetrics, adding: “The partnership with NewsGuard provides Meetrics with the necessary, clear-cut data to restrict an control ad placement via its own technology. That way advertisers can now rely on a solution that not only protects them from massive damages to their brand reputation, but also allows them to continue advertising on credible news sites, i.e. an environment that promises enormous reach and is highly regarded by users.
NewsGuard’s dataset contains all the news and information websites that cover 95% of social media interactions with news content in the USA, UK, Germany, France and Italy. It also provides insights into various categories of misinformation, including health- related misinformation, but also political and other conspiracy theories and hoaxes — enabling advertisers to precisely target their campaigns, and to avoid particular types of unreliable websites.
“Our partnership with Meetrics will allow brands and agencies across Europe to use NewsGuard’s data with greater ease and flexibility,” said Anna-Sophie Harling, managing director of Europe at NewsGuard. “Together, we can work to fund credible news operations while driving advertising spend away from disinformation websites.”