Misinformation Rater Offering Free Compliance Assessment To Advertisers, Agencies, Ad Tech

On the heels of new industry guidelines aimed at curtailing advertising supporting misinformation and other unsavory content, veracity ratings service NewsGuard this morning will announce it is offering free compliance assessment for brands, agencies, DSPs (demand-side platforms), SSPs (supply-side platforms) and other ad tech providers that want to ensure their current practices meet the industry’s new standards.

The offer follows last week’s announcement by the World Federation of Advertisers’ Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) for new brand safety guidelines designed to avoid ads placed adjacent to content deemed misinformation and/or contributing to self-harm among some users, as well as a European Commission update to its Code of Practice on Disinformation.



NewsGuard will offer the compliance assessments – as well as provide recommendations to organizations found to be out of compliance with the new guidelines – via its BrandGuard brand safety service free through Sept. 1.

The assessment includes an analysis of the list of publishers – including websites, news apps, YouTube channels, etc. –  each organization currently  advertises on and provides a summary of how well or poorly they meet the new GARM and European Commission guidelines.

GARM’s update, which was unveiled during last week’s Media Lions festival in Cannes celebrating its third anniversary, provides a framework and sets a “floor” for brand safety recommending advertisers avoid having their ad appear adjacent to misinformation and self-harm content. It also provided the first industry guidelines for “embedding brand safety” in the burgeoning metaverse/s.

NewsGuard is a human-curated service utilizing professional journalists to rate the veracity of news and information content, and advertisers and agencies utilizing its BrandGuard service generally use it to create “exclusion” and “inclusion” lists of sites and apps deemed appropriate for their brands to advertise on.

In research conducted last year with Comscore, NewsGuard estimated as much as $2.6 billion in media buys is spent on content deemed misinformation each year, due largely to the programmatic marketplace.

“These moves will prevent peddlers of hoaxes from raking in billions — while ensuring that top brands don’t inadvertently have their ads wind up on websites spouting falsehoods about COVID-19, elections, and more,” NewsGuard co-CEO Gordon Crovitz says in a statement announcing the free compliance assessments.
2 comments about "Misinformation Rater Offering Free Compliance Assessment To Advertisers, Agencies, Ad Tech".
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  1. Dan Ciccone from STACKED Entertainment, June 30, 2022 at 11:51 a.m.

    I'm very skeptical.  How much "news" was deemed false information and then a few months or a year later we find out it was, in fact, totally true.  Hunter's laptop, Steele Dossier, covid treatments, masks work, masks don't work, Trump choking out a secret service agent, etc.

    How are these jouranlists, these moderators of truth, discerning between a pundit and a news anchor?


  2. Kevin Killion from Stone House Systems, Inc., June 30, 2022 at 1:29 p.m.

    Skepticism is indeed warranted about NewsGuard. Those considering using its services should employ due diligence and research what exactly it is doing. If someone agrees with the direction NewsGuard takes, that’s their choice. But one should know about that before signing up.

    * AllSides.com studies bias in news media from all sides, appropriate for its name, and covers issues but more intriguingly bias in news sources, noting many that consistently skew right or left. They found “NewsGuard Ratings System Heavily Skews in Favor of Left-Wing Outlets”,

    * The American Institute for Economic Research asks "Who Fact Checks the Fact Checkers?” with a tight focus on NewsGuard.

    * Sharyl Attkisson, former CBS investigating reporter and anchor, has a fascinating piece in Real Clear Investigations focusing on NewsGuard, “The Troubling Fact Is That the Media's Fact-Checkers Tend to Lean Left”.

    * “Influence Watch”, a project from Capital Research Center., has a summary on NewsGuard rich with background info and is worthy of your consideration:

    From a more conservative-specific viewpoint, here are more comments:

    * Federalist summary of a study from New York University: “Study On Misinformation Group Finds News Rating Agency Useless”, writing, “Researchers from New York University could find no benefits that NewsGuard, a popular pro-censorship browser extension, offered to consumers’ ability to identify misinformation while successfully directing readers to other sites deemed credible by the agency’s censors.”
    Federalist article:
    Original NYU study:

    * “Governors Warned About Biased NewsGuard’s Pact with Teachers Union”

    * A particularly meaty commentary about NewsGuard is an open letter to governors from the conservative Media Research Center, reported here: “MRC, Allies Warn Governors About Biased NewsGuard’s Pact with Teachers Union”

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