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Advertisers don’t need to fear news websites if their facts are right and tone is not hateful.

This comment piece points out that brand safety concerns are not a new phenomenon – marketers have always worried about backlashes from unfortunate ad placements and some have always tried to avoid news sites with certain political leanings.

But when choosing the key words alongside which to display their ads, advertisers now specifically avoid certain words that they think will harm their brand perception. The author argues this approach is misguided and leads to unnecessary reductions in impressions on news sites because individual “page-level” clashes are “not a long term brand building issue.”

News sites inevitably cover bad news and controversial topics every day and, though their content may be becoming more aggressive, bad reactions won’t spill over from individual stories if the publisher is reliable and balanced. The current situation is depriving news providers of the ad revenues they need and brands of the reach and frequency that news content brings.

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[5 minute read]

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