Public Interest

Impacts of Fake News on a Brand’s Image

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Branding

Fake news stories have circulated the Internet for years now and seems like this trend won’t die down anytime soon. A 2017 study conducted by Pew Research revealed that 45% of Americans get their news from social media, particularly Facebook and YouTube. And since these publishers use social media to promote their content, the spread of fake news is likely to intensify in the years to come.

While most fake news are about political propaganda, celebrities, and influencers, businesses may be affected too even though they do not directly aide in propagating these malicious stories. 

To make the articles look more credible, publishers place mainstream ads next to their content. And since most big companies use advertising as a digital marketing strategy, many times their brand name can appear next to fraudulent content that conflicts with their values. 

Unfortunately for advertisers, most ads platforms (even Google) are programmatic which serves ads to large audiences automatically. This makes it easier for fake news sites to use the system to their advantage.

Thus, by association the impacts of fake news can lead to negative views on the brand’s name . As a result, consumers are less likely to patronize the brand or visit its store/website. This makes it crucial for marketers to understand how fake news is proliferated and how it can harm their marketing efforts. 


How Can Advertisers Avoid Fake News?

Since its breakout, Google and Facebook have constantly worked on their policies and algorithms to fight fake news. However, it’s still not perfect and there are still major fake news sites that go undetected.

Here are some preventive measures you can take as advertisers to avoid getting published on fake news sites.


Create a Whitelist 

Create an index of the reliable websites you want your ads to appear. Although this limits your reach, it gives you peace of mind that your ads only appear on credible websites.


Blacklist Fake News Sites

This is the opposite of creating a whitelist. Avoid getting ads published in dubious websites by creating a blacklist. This is already practiced by several brands who do not want to be associated with sensitive topics, gambling, porn and hate speech. Just make sure you update the list frequently as new fake news sites spring up day-to-day.


Do Your Part, Report Fake News Sites

Facebook launched a tool for users to flag false stories. If you’ve spotted a fake news site, don’t hesitate to click Report for publishing ‘False News Story’.


Hire an Advertising Expert

Ad experts have the experience and skill to help keep your brand from the impacts of fake news. Talking to experts like us at Public Advertising Agency can help ensure that your ads are distributed in the right platforms.


These are just a few ways to keep your brand and ads steered away from fake news sites.  If you need assistance on your digital advertising, contact us at Public today.


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