The Truth About Misinformation’s Impact on Advertising

The Truth About Misinformation’s Impact on Advertising

Fake stories make brands look fake, too

Misinformation is a massive problem, and people equally blame publishers/authors (53%), platforms (49%) and brands (44%) when an ad appears adjacent to a story that’s intentionally misleading or untrue. This is a major brand suitability challenge for advertisers and media buyers, but what is the true impact of ads that run next to misinformation?

New ad effectiveness research from Zefr and Magna Media Trials, “Ads in Misinformation: An Ad Effectiveness Experiment, takes a deep dive into how misinformation affects brand perception and other KPIs. The report makes it clear that, overall, proximity to misleading content erodes brand integrity.

Insights include:

  • Not all recall is good: 61% of participants recalled a brand that appeared next to misleading content, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
  • A matter of respect: 47% of participants indicated that a brand’s integrity is compromised by adjacency to misinformation.
  • Brand reputation suffers: The exact same ad was seen as less trustworthy when it appeared next to misinformation.

Misinformation may be rampant online, but brands can protect themselves. Download the report.

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