This is timely, coming as it does a week before the midterm elections.
TBWA\Chiat\Day New York and Columbia Journalism Review partnered on a half-day OOH installation in the heart of midtown Manhattan today to put a spotlight on fake news and how it gains credibility.
The companies created a “News Stand” on a corner of Bryant Park in midtown that was outfitted with publications that looked authentic — but actually full of B.S. headlines.
According to the firms, all the headlines were untrue — made up, essentially — but were among the most highly read and heavily promoted stories on social media at the time they appeared.
The basic idea of the installation was to educate people about how to recognize false and misleading news. And for good reason. According to an Ipsos Public Affairs survey, false headlines fool American adults about 75% of the time.
Passersby were encouraged to take a closer look at the periodicals on display — all designed by the Omnicom ad shop to closely mirror legit publications. While the headlines were false, the material inside the publications included a CJR readers guide about how to recognize and call BS on misinformation.
The installation — which hopefully will be duplicated across the country in the coming days (or maybe two years even) — was an offshoot of an ad campaign, "Real Journalism Matters,: created by the agency for CJR earlier this year.
This idea needs to be scaled. Take a look at the Electoral College map and focus, oh I don’t know, maybe Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, where about 80,000 people seemed particularly susceptible to fake news.