6 Tools Brands Are Using to Stop Ads From Appearing on ‘Fake News’ Sites

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Fake news isn’t just a problem for consumers. It’s a problem that brand advertisers are facing, as well, as they struggle to ensure their display ads aren’t showing up alongside inflammatory online content. Nearly 60% of agencies say they worry about inventory quality when engaging in programmatic buys, making this a substantial issue that’s not going away on its own.

In an effort to fight fraud and increase ad viewability, marketers that buy media through programmatic channels are increasingly relying on a mix of tools to white list sites and get rid of bad impressions. Attribution partners that use geo-location to determine when consumers have walked into businesses after viewing online ads are useful, but to really improve viewability targeting and root out the types of fake news sites that could degrade a brand’s identity, many marketers are finding it necessary to go a step further and utilize measurement and verification platforms designed just for this purpose.

Here are six examples of tools that major brands are using right now.

1. Integral Ad Science: Verifying publishers to ensure the effectiveness of ads
For brands that want to ensure their ads are being kept off of inappropriate websites when making programmatic buys, Integral Ad Science (IAS) offers a number of safety measures. The company analyzes “brand risk” at the page level based on variables that include text, inbound/outbound links, and the URL. Brands can add additional layers like geo-location and keyword, as well. IAS also has a set of customizable tools that brands can use to avoid ad placement across multiple publisher categories using pre-bid targeting and real-time blocking. For example, brands can use IAS to make sure their ads aren’t showing up alongside hate speech, violence, or adult content. IAS works with MediaMath, Facebook, and Millennial Media.

2. Trust Metrics: Ensuring high publisher quality for brands
Trust Metrics was specifically designed to help brands stay on top of where their online ads are running. Advertisers can create their own lists of high-quality publishers based on interests, demographics, and countless other factors, and they can filter sites based on their unique sensitivities for various safeties. (For example, avoiding placing ads on any sites with profanity.) Brands can also use Trust Metrics to screen the publisher lists that certain networks put out, to make sure their ads aren’t showing up on fake news websites, and they compare various networks to better understand how to maximize online advertising spend. Brands that use Trust Metrics include CapitalOne, Smucker’s, and Red Bull.

3. DoubleVerify: Authenticating the quality of digital media
Just this past November, DoubleVerify launched its own solution to help advertisers avoid running content alongside “inflammatory, politically-charged” news stories with “unsubstantiated claims.” Made available as part of DoubleVerify’s Digital Impression Quality services, the new offering helps major brands gain a better understanding of value across all of their media placements. DoubleVerify’s solution is also available to programmatic buying platforms. DoubleVerify works with Fortune 500 companies, along with publishers, networks, platforms, and exchanges.

4. Moat: Understanding where ad creatives are really running
Moat is a SaaS marketing analytics firm that measures ad viewability on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. In addition to seeing where their video and display ads are running online, brands can better understand who they are reaching on those websites and how their content is performing overall. Detailed analytics provide insight into the domain, URL, placement, and author that display ads sit alongside, allowing brands to take a critical look at their online strategies and determine whether any publisher sites could be negatively influencing brand perceptions. Moat is used by brands like Unilever, Nestle, and Kellogg’s.

5. Sizmek: Making sure ads are showing up in the right places
Sizmek is using semantic analysis technology and contextual ad targeting to help brands and agencies ensure their ads are showing up where they want them to be seen. Verification reporting and viewability tools give advertisers a better understanding of what’s going on with their campaigns. Sizmek uses pre-bid media relevance targeting to make sure ads are served in the right context to the right audience. In addition to filtering out certain publishers, Sizmek can connect brands to niche local markets. Sizmek has worked with Garnier for Men, beIN SPORTS, PokerStars, and one of the largest department store chains in Latin America.

6. Amobee: Generating insights about brand perception and sentiment
Brands that are looking for more insight as they adjust the parameters of their digital advertising campaigns can use Amobee’s brand intelligence platform. The company monitors billions of digital content engagements each day to uncover trending brands, sentiments, and audiences. Brands can track changes in consumption and sentiment based on ad placements, to understand how certain publishers are impacting marketplace perceptions. Amobee has direct relationships with more than 1,000 vetted publishers, and it includes integrations with accredited partners to block ads from showing up next to inappropriate content. Amobee works with Garmin, Showtime, and Pizza Hut.

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.