New York, USA – Report uncovers how false information affects the digital advertising industry, according to the ‘Misinformation & Media Quality’ report from Integral Ad Science.
The report of digital media experts explores the challenges that misleading content poses for media strategies, as well as what actions advertisers are taking to protect their campaigns against these growing threats.
The majority of experts agree that the spread of misinformation has been fueled by recent global developments. Media experts surveyed reported that the volume of misinformation has increased due to political polarisation with 76%, recent geopolitical developments with 68%, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with 62%.
Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS, said, “As we continue to classify sources of misinformation, our report illustrates the heightened need to focus on controlling advertisers’ contextual adjacencies, including the implementation of suitability frameworks that specifically address false or misleading content.”
According to Marlow, the research reveals how industry leaders are grappling with misleading content and what actions they are, or aren’t, taking to protect both current and future campaigns.
IAS, in partnership with YouGov, surveyed over 500 digital media experts from brands, agencies, publishers and ad tech providers to examine perspectives surrounding misinformation, disinformation, and fake news.
A vast majority of media experts agree misinformation should be actively avoided, but few say their organisations have clear guidelines.73% of media experts agree that ad buyers and sellers must actively avoid misinformation, disinformation, and fake news. However, less than half or 47% of those media experts reported that their organisations have clear guidelines regarding advertising alongside misinformation.
Recent global events have fueled the threat of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news content. As ad spending continues to grow, total media ad spend is expected to approach $350 billion in 2022, making media quality assurance ever-present as buyers and sellers seek to minimise known and emerging threats. The Global Disinformation Index (GDI) estimates that advertisers unwittingly provide at least $235m to global disinformation sites, on an annual basis.
A large number of industry experts report high levels of concern regarding media threats. As ad spending grows, media quality threats will remain top of mind, with 84% of experts reporting high levels of concern about at least one threat. A majority of these industry experts flag content-spreading misinformation, disinformation, and fake news as the most concerning media quality threats, with 63% reporting high levels of concern.
In such an event, impact on company reputation and consumer distrust are of greater concern than campaign ROI. Around disinformation, 42% of experts conveyed concern about the impact on their company’s reputation or consumer distrust in legitimate content and advertising, whereas 29% cited concern over reduced audience reach and only 22% around lost media budget/revenue.
Though digital media experts agree that the spread of misinformation is the most concerning media quality threat, apprehension persists around ad fraud, adjacencies next to questionable content, and low viewability for more than half of respondents, according to the report.