Ensuring Brand Suitability in a Hyper-Charged News Cycle - DoubleVerify

During the first half of 2020, the world has been changed by a series of unprecedented events — from a devastating pandemic to a global movement for social justice. As a result of the pandemic, people are relying on the internet more — be it to work, to connect with family and friends, or to stay abreast of the latest news. According to DV’s 2020 Global Insights Report, news had the highest Engagement Index among content verticals, causing advertisers to focus more keenly on brand suitability.

While having access to reliable information is more important than ever, the information ecosystem grows more complex by the day, characterized by a news cycle that evolves at a breakneck pace. In addition, academic analyses and investigative reporting have demonstrated that disinformation and misinformation are growing phenomena, and the world is now confronting what has been termed an ‘infodemic.’ MIT researchers have found that news content containing falsehoods is more likely to go viral than legitimate news content, and false news content related to politics regularly achieves the greatest reach. With the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election only a few months away, the prevalence of disinformation and misinformation is likely to proliferate.

 

Providing the Tools and Technology to Drive Performance

A recent DV/Harris Poll shows that 82% of consumers say it’s a brand’s responsibility to make sure their ads appear in appropriate environments, and two-thirds of consumers would likely abandon a brand they see next to questionable content.

DV has led the way in providing advertisers with the tools and best practices to expand their reach to high performing news content without compromising brand protection. We understand the complexity of the online information ecosystem presents challenges to many advertisers and we are committed to ensuring our clients can effectively manage their brand safety and suitability concerns — while still being able to support trusted publishers, news, and information. To that end, we are constantly working to ensure our tools provide appropriate, nuanced coverage for news content — allowing advertisers to avoid the content they deem unsuitable, without necessarily avoiding all news.

 

Avoiding Inflammatory Politics and News  

Advertising alongside hate speech or politically-charged content can have a real and lasting impact on customer attitudes and purchase behaviors. Since 2016, DV has offered an Inflammatory Politics and News category, which provides clients the option of avoiding misinformation, disinformation and highly-polarized content.

To date, DV has helped prevent billions of potentially brand damaging impressions on Inflammatory Politics and News content. Importantly, these results also serve to disrupt the economic incentives for the production of “fake news” content. Our coverage for Inflammatory Politics and News content is the result of constant refinement to keep up with the rapid pace of online news and political events.

 

Enhanced Coverage with Storyzy Integration

To further bolster our reliable coverage, DV has partnered with Storyzy, a technology company that offers an automated solution for tracking inflammatory political content and misinformation online, across multiple languages. DV has worked diligently to integrate this technology into our Inflammatory Politics and News category offering and to ensure a high level of accuracy. The Storyzy integration will allow DV to offer enhanced protection to advertisers and improves our ability to track these problematic types of content as they continue to proliferate, in the run up to the election and beyond.

 

DV’s 2020 Election Task Force

DV has also launched an internal 2020 Election Task Force, composed of team members with a range of functions and backgrounds ranging from politics to linguistics to anthropology. This team is dedicated to monitoring election and political content in real time. In an election, it is often difficult to predict what a potentially controversial topic of conversation will be from one hour to the next, and this Task Force will ensure our brand suitability classifications keep pace with new issues as they arise.

If there is a new trend in online misinformation or disinformation related to the election, we will work to quickly identify this and ensure our Inflammatory Politics and News category is providing coverage. If there is a new associated trend in hate speech or violence, we will ensure it receives the appropriate DV categories of Hate Speech and Violence, and so on. In the past month, instances of hate speech were more than 4.5 times higher than usual in the online traffic we measured. Just recently, we noticed hate speech content nearly tripled after the tragic death of George Floyd.

We’re committed to providing advertisers the tools they need to manage brand safety and suitability, while also supporting a healthy digital media ecosystem. DV plans to continue pursuing partnerships and improvements to our solutions and we are committed to developing best in class tools for our clients.

 

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