Misinformation Peaks, Ad Tech Rushes To Protect Brands

Identifying misinformation to ensure responsible media practices is one of the most difficult challenges brands face today. It led Sightly, a marketing tech and services company, and Ad Fontes Media, which measures media bias, to build a strategic partnership that enables brands to protect their own image.

Sightly takes a brand's core values and programs them into its platform.

The company’s technology sits on top of YouTube, TikTok, Roku, and other platforms. Its Brand Mentality platform combines each brand's unique attributes and supports them through artificial intelligence and natural-language processing algorithms to identify specific signals from the data.

It then recommends real-time actions that avoid threats. It also can help marketers seize opportunities.

“The technology digs into what the brand actually thinks,” says Adam Katz, chief revenue officer and general manager at Sightly.

The partnership -- which the companies signed a couple of weeks ago, but announced this week -- supports brands and agencies.

It takes Ad Fontes Media data and allows Sightly to identify specific content to prevent advertisers from publishing their ads near undesirable content on publisher sites.   

It means that brands no longer need to rely on Facebook Twitter, YouTube, and other sites to protect their reputation.

For example, a pizza brand may back critical race theory, with a company executive appearing in the news on a “far right-wing site.” Ad Fontes Media picks up that data and feeds it into Sightly’s platform, which can "block the content in the sense that we prevent the brand's ads from running on it."

Ad Fontes Media’s platform identifies that the content served up. Sightly's platform can identify whether it is a risk or an opportunity for the brand.

The idea is to help advertisers avoid running ads near misinformation and extreme content, says Vanessa Otero, CEO and founder of Ad Fontes Media. “It is very difficult for brands to know,” she said.

It aims to prevent a brand's messages from accidentally ending up somewhere that is contrary to the brand's values, such as on polarizing or misleading articles or YouTube videos.

Prior to the last U.S. election, a study published by CHEQ and the University of Baltimore revealed that fake news was costing the global economy $78 billion each year.

Three out of five consumers now buy from brands based on trust, and two thirds of consumers worldwide now buy on beliefs, according to Edelman.

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