Inspirational Print in the Time of Fake News
March 15, 2017

What is fake news?

Now something of a buzzword, fake news has become a catch-all phrase to describe fictitious content claiming to be real, reliable news. Sometimes called ‘hoax news’, fake news’s aim is to mislead and misinform the reader, unlike satirical news which pokes fun at current news affairs and whose goal is to entertain. A perfect recent example is the DailyMash’s ‘story’ on The Queen confirming she can legally kill Donald Trump.

Fake news is rather sinister compared to satirical news. It looks to push an agenda for reasons of political and/or financial gain. The ethos of fake news could be summed up as ‘to hell with the truth, let’s tell it like we want it to be, not how it is!’

Fake news relies heavily on social media to get content shared fast and wide, counting on the fact that most people won’t look too much into a tweet or Facebook post’s title and retweet and/or share blindly.

That said, since the US elections and the wave of fake news reportedly misleading voters into voting for Trump in the run up, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has detailed a plan to combat the problem.

As the now former U.S. President Barack Obama once said, “If we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems”.

Advertisers and fake news

Advertisers are becoming more focused on keeping brands away from ‘fake’ news. Kellogg’s and other big brands are pulling ads from the dodgy site “Breitbart” and asking themselves if they want to be associated with controversial or extreme political content. If it wasn’t already, it’s now clear that brands are wanting to have more control over where their ads are placed digitally.

Some major brands have confessed that their ads have appeared on fake news sites, unbeknown to them, until unhappy customers complained. The customers see the brands as endorsing the fake news website’s often divisive and controversial agenda, making it a monster of a marketing nightmare.

Marc Goldberg, CEO of publisher verification firm Trust Metrics, says “Advertisers are fed up with what’s going on in programmatic and they’re fed up with Facebook and Twitter for being misleading with their metrics. They’re fed up with fake news. A lot of agencies are having to pitch or repitch business. Relationships have soured over the last 18 months because of the lack of transparency and the inability to do digital right. Agency relationships have changed, and anyone pitching new business must address issues like quality, nonhuman traffic and viewability”.

We thought that this was such a fascinating point that we asked media expert Nicholas Lemann (Dean of Colombia Journalism School and writer for the New Yorker) & Douglas Rushkoff (media theorist and author who covers internet culture) about this phenomenon in our Rhapsody Magazine for United Airlines: how do we get back to the truth?

Inspirational print

Due to the rise of fake news and with brands and companies being looked upon to act on them, now is the time for advertisers to choose quality over quantity, becoming more selective with who and how they advertise.

Relationships between advertisers and publishers have changed since programmatic advertising became popular. But marketing gurus can make sure they buy quality, controlled advertising through forging strong relationships with publishers.

Ink puts advertising in front of the right people within the right settings, free of random ‘news’ and misleading content. Our content features real people in inspirational settings and situations, giving a positive finish to your brand.

We may not be a news outlet but our content is consumed by millions of people every day across the globe. Advertising with us will position your brand in front of tourists, business decision makers, high net worth individuals – all open to consuming luxury brands.

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