1 In 3 Say Advertisers Shouldn't Appear Near News About COVID-19 Deaths, Study Finds

Around one out of three web users say companies shouldn't advertise next to news articles about COVID-19 deaths, as well as articles about police brutality and civil unrest, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted last month by the industry organizations Trustworthy Accountability Group and Brand Safety Institute, examined consumers' attitudes toward advertising around various types of content -- ranging from hate speech to pornography to news articles. For the report, the organizations questioned 1,143 U.S. adults, via SurveyMonkey.

Among other questions, respondents were asked which types of news, if any, advertisers should avoid.

Approximately 39% of respondents said advertisers shouldn't appear adjacent to stories about “mass shootings in schools or other locations,” while 33.5% said advertisers should eschew placement near “violent riots or civil unrest,” 32% said companies should avoid advertising near stories about police brutality, and 30% said companies shouldn't place ads near stories about “COVID-19 deaths or tragedies.”

Four in 10 respondents considered all news coverage appropriate for ads.

Most people surveyed thought advertisers should avoid certain other categories of content. Nearly three in four respondents (73.5%) said advertisers should prevent ads from running near hate speech, while 68% said companies should avoid placing ads near pornography, and more than half (54%) said advertisers should steer clear of pirated movies or tv shows.

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