Fake News: How advertisers and marketers should face it

The scourge of fake news has thrown platforms, publishers, advertisers and political candidates into a tailspin. How can a problem this pervasive and explosive be overcome?

Forrester, in its report Fake News: More Proof That Advertisers Must Choose Quality Over Quantity, says the first step is to understand what fake news is and then undo its source of funding: advertising. The report explores what fake news is – and isn’t – and what marketers must do to protect their ad spend and brand reputations.

Fake news must not be a catch-all term

Fake news sites make up stories out of whole cloth not for political purposes, but to drive traffic to get your ad dollars. Satire and opinion-based advocacy sites are not fake news, but should still be scrutinised for brand appropriateness, says Forrester report.

Marketers must act in their own best interests

The programmatic ecosystem makes it easy for low-quality inventory to flourish, but advertisers can take control of their spend by taking a more active role in media planning.

Focus on sites that fabricate stories

Programmatic advertising allows marketers to efficiently find their target markets wherever they are spending time. This is the media-buying process of choice today for most marketers.

But the highly automated programmatic ecosystem creates the conditions that make fake news a desirable enterprise for people looking to generate revenue from eyeballs, letting ethics fall by the wayside.

Marketers must make a distinction between those sites that intend to add value and those that traffic in untruths and are designed for no other purpose than to exploit the systemic flaws in advertising technology, the Forrester report says.

For more, see: https://www.forrester.com/report/Fake+News+More+Proof+That+Advertisers+Must+Choose+Quality+Over+Quantity/-/E-RES137014

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