“Advertising is One of the Major Funders of Extreme and Misinformative Content”

Photo by Visuals on Unsplash

An excerpt from my interview with Amelie Lambert for Little Black Book. You can find the rest of the interview at the link below.

The Conscious Advertising Network exists to break the economic link between content that divides us, misinforms us and harms us, and advertising that is creating the perverse financial incentives that are fueling that.

There’s two elements to this. The first is that advertising is, unfortunately, funding misinformation. Some people think up to $2.6 billion every year [is being funnelled from big brands to misinformation websites]. So, a lot of money. But it is also inadvertently starving hard news, and things like factual climate reporting and diverse communities of funding for their media. The reason behind that is that this kind of content is deemed ‘brand unsafe’, because it deals with issues which are emotional, pithy and complex — and risk-avert advertisers are deciding that they don’t want to go there.

Or they’re devolving responsibility to technology platforms who are saying, this is a risky place for your advertising to be.

What we exist to do is promote something called ‘conscious media investment’, where we’re making advertisers think really consciously and carefully about what they’re investing in with their media spend, and therefore create a healthier media environment, where we can make much better informed decisions and have better debates about important issues like climate change.

Read the rest of my interview with Amelie Lambert for Little Black Book here.

For more about the link between misinformation and advertising:

  • Listen to Double Verify podcast here
  • Or the Conscious Advertising Network’s podcasts here

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Harriet Kingaby

Harriet Kingaby

Co-chair of the Conscious Advertising Network and climate misinformation expert at Media Bounty. Advertising, ethics, disinformation and climate change.