Brand safety has become a top priority for advertisers globally. Especially in the age of digital and programmatic advertising, brands often lack the ability to control where on the internet their ads appear — and the necessary background information to decide if the websites are appropriate for their brand to be associated with. The biggest problem is posed by websites that peddle misinformation. Current technology using Artificial Intelligence is able to detect some sort of inappropriate content, but it continues to prove unable to detect and filter out hoax and other misinformation sites, the way that trained humans can.
That is why Meetrics, the leading European ad verification provider, and NewsGuard, a company that evaluates and rates the credibility and transparency of news and information websites, have partnered up to offer an innovative solution. Unlike services that rely only on Artificial Intelligence, NewsGuard’s unique database is created by trained journalists all over the world who are able to detect disinformation and misinformation using human intelligence instead of an algorithm. Combined with Meetrics’ in-depth analytics capabilities, this will provide advertisers with the necessary tools to effectively protect their brands from misinformation campaigns, and instead focus their ad campaigns on reliable news sites.
To do so, Meetrics has integratedNewsGuard’s database — containing more than 6,000 website ratings and related metadata — into its service. Advertisers can now avoid ad placements on websites that the team of trained, professional journalists at NewsGuard has identified as unreliable sources. Most important, this allows advertisers to respond to the pressing issue of misinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic, and avoid giving money to websites that spread such potentially dangerous false claims, while supporting legitimate news publishers. Since the beginning of 2020, NewsGuard has catalogued 350 websites that spread coronavirus misinformation — and more are added almost every day.
“The level of disinformation on some websites reached an extent that demanded immediate action. For example, when recommendations are made in connection with COVID-19 that may cause long-lasting and severe health defects, and are strongly warned against by officials. Advertisers risk unknowingly placing their ads on such websites, and unwillingly endangering the consumers’ trust in their brand,” says Philipp von Hilgers, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Meetrics, adding: “The partnership with NewsGuard provides Meetrics with the necessary, clear-cut data to restrict and control ad placement via its own technology. That way advertisers can now rely on a solution that not only protects them from massive damages to their brand reputation, but also allows them to continue advertising on credible news sites, i.e. an environment that promises enormous reach and is highly regarded by users.
NewsGuard’s dataset contains all the news and information websites that cover 95% of social media interactions with news content in the USA, UK, Germany, France and Italy. It also provides insights into various categories of misinformation, including health-related misinformation, but also political and other conspiracy theories and hoaxes — enabling advertisers to precisely target their campaigns, and to avoid particular types of unreliable websites.
“Our partnership with Meetrics will allow brands and agencies across Europe to use NewsGuard’s data with greater ease and flexibility,” said Anna-Sophie Harling, Managing Director of Europe at NewsGuard. “Together, we can work to fund credible news operations while driving advertising spend away from disinformation websites.”
Since 2008, Meetrics has provided solutions to enhance the quality of online marketing, contributing to a more transparent and effective digital ecosystem. In addition to measuring the viewability of online ads, Meetrics provides control over advertising environments with Brand Safety & Brand Suitability, Audience Verification, and Ad Fraud Prevention. Meetrics was the first European company to be accredited by the most relevant industry body, the Media Rating Council (MRC), for Sophisticated Invalid Traffic Detection in Desktop, Mobile Web and In-App Viewability measurements for Video and Display environments. Meetrics is a global measurement partner of Google and Facebook and other platforms. Leading companies around the world trust Meetrics’ products and services.
Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites. NewsGuard rates all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, and Italy. NewsGuard products include NewsGuard, HealthGuard, and BrandGuard, which helps marketers concerned about their brand safety, and the Misinformation Fingerprints catalog of top hoaxes.
NewsGuard rates each site based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. It awards weighted points for each criterion and sums them up; a score of less than 60 earns a “Red” rating, while 60 and above earns a “Green” rating, which indicates it is generally reliable.
NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels can be licensed by internet service providers, browsers, news aggregators, education companies, and social media and search platforms in order to make NewsGuard’s information about news websites available to their users. Consumers can access these ratings by purchasing a subscription to NewsGuard, which costs $2.95/month and includes access to NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox and its mobile app for iOS and Android. The extension is available for free on Microsoft’s Edge browser through a license agreement with Microsoft, and NewsGuard’s ratings can also be accessed free through the Edge mobile browser. Hundreds of public libraries globally receive free access to use NewsGuard’s browser extension on their public-access computers to give their patrons more context for the news they encounter online. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com.