Advertisers spend significant money on websites carrying misinformation

New Ideas in MarketingEssential news for marketers, summarised by YouGov
August 23, 2021, 3:12 PM UTC

A recent NewsGuard and Comcsore report highlights how advertisers are spending money on misinformation websites.

The study found that advertisers power the misinformation industry to a $2.6 billion behemoth. These adverts are automatically served to websites by programmatic advertising. For every $2.16 spent on legitimate news websites in the US, $1 is spent on sites that carry misinformation.

American advertisers are placing around $1.6 billion in advertising on fake news sites – like NaturalNews.com, TheGatewayPundit.com and DavidIcke.com – that have published misinformation about COVID-19. British advertisers spend around $152 million on misinformation sites, while advertisers across Europe spend around $475 million.

Major brands like Pepsi, Starbucks and Verizon have had their ads placed on sites carrying misinformation. Even Comcast, which owns reputable media brands like NBC and Sky, has placed ads on misinformation sites.

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