Why Fake News has a Real Impact on Brands & Consumers

BREAKING NEWS … or is it?

If you’re a regular on social media, you’ve likely seen the recent flood of alerts cautioning consumers to beware of “Fake News”. While news parody websites like The Onion and Clickhole are upfront about their satirical content, this other unfortunate trend appears to exist purely for clickbait on websites claiming to be authentic.

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Advertisers and consumers alike need to be aware of the fake news circulating online, but it can be tricky to spot.

Fake News’ Impact on Brands

But the landscape of your newsfeed is not the only thing impacted by fake news. This is the first time in history that billion-dollar corporations are sharing blatantly incorrect information without being held accountable for it.

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These “articles” have hurt brand reputations when a company’s remarks are spun into false statements. For example, Pepsi experienced the perils of fake news when the CEO made a statement about employees’ reactions to the 2016 election results. The innocent comment led to a lot of people boycotting the brand.
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Pepsi isn’t the only one who has fallen at the hand of fake news. New Balance was targeted by a white supremacists news site, dubbing the company as the “official shoes of White people”.

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As advertisers, we can help mitigate this flood of false information by publishing brand-honest content on responsible platforms. While there is no easy way to extinguish the wildfire that is fake news, advertisers must focus on reporting honest and reliable information about its brands and influencers.