The Real Impact of Misinformation on Advertising

Fake stories make brands look fake, too

Misinformation is a significant issue, and people tend to hold publishers/authors (53%), platforms (49%), and brands (44%) responsible when an ad appears alongside intentionally misleading or false stories. This poses a major brand suitability challenge for advertisers and media buyers, but what is the real impact of ads placed next to misinformation?

New research from Zefr and Magna Media Trials, titled “Ads in Misinformation: An Ad Effectiveness Experiment,” delves into how misinformation affects brand perception and other key performance indicators (KPIs). The findings highlight that being adjacent to misleading content can seriously harm a brand’s integrity.

Key insights include:

  • Negative Recall: 61% of participants remembered a brand that appeared next to misleading content, but often for the wrong reasons.
  • Perception of Respect: 47% of participants felt that a brand’s integrity is compromised when its ads are placed near misinformation.
  • Trust Issues: The same ad was perceived as less trustworthy when it appeared next to misleading content.

This research underscores the importance of brand safety and the need for careful placement of ads to maintain brand integrity.

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