Consumers react strongly when their favorite company’s ad shows up next to inflammatory political content or fake news. Recently, brands from Dodge Ram to Bose have suffered due to unfortunate ad placement.
Many marketers feel blindsided by this issue. The majority of digital ads are placed via automated buying in real-time—no human involved. The technology blocks ads from appearing near pornography or graphic violence, but, it turns out, not much more.
What’s a brand to do?
Some companies have tried white listing or black listing sites. But, half of marketers admit that they cannot keep current.
Others recommend reviewing all sites where a brand’s ads were shown. However, that is a “try to un-ring the bell” approach.
Facebook recently announced they will restrict ad serving to sites with hate speech or extreme points-of-view. Some experts are skeptical because they calculate nearly 50% of Facebook ad revenue at times comes from questionable sites.
The best solution may rest with the big ad tech companies. They are frantically rolling out new features that block ads from appearing on fake news and unreliable sites. The beauty of this approach is that if they effectively stop ads from flowing to fake news sites, those companies will lose their life-blood of ad revenue and disappear.
Sources: Ad Exchanger 2016, Emarketer 2016 Marketing Dive 2016, Wired 2016