Proactive Approaches to Combat Disinformation in Advertising Campaigns

by | May 9, 2023 | Blog

In recent years, the proliferation of digital channels and sophisticated technology have created new opportunities for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities in advertising campaigns. One type of attack that has received increased attention is the use of disinformation to disrupt or manipulate public opinion.

With the advent of social media and other online platforms, it has become easier than ever for disinformation to be spread quickly and easily. This serious issue can lead to public mistrust of brands, businesses and people. As a result, it is important for businesses to be proactive in their approach to combating disinformation.

This means creating ads that are accurate and truthful, and that target specific audiences. Additionally, organizations should consider using advertising tools that can help them track the reach and impact of their ads. Below are some additional tips for combating disinformation not only against the brand itself but also against the advertising campaigns that denigrate the brand.

  1. Understand the Source
    The first step in defending against disinformation is understanding where it comes from. Disinformation is most often spread through social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, by malicious actors who seek to manipulate public opinion. It is important for organizations to understand how these actors operate and what tactics they employ so that they can recognize and respond quickly when their advertising campaigns are targeted with disinformation.
  2. Monitor your Campaigns Closely
    Within the world of digital advertising specifically, there are two main concerns when it comes to brand safety issues. First, marketers want to prevent their ads from showing up next to dangerous and unsuitable content. And second, as an industry overall, advertisers should starve disinformation sites of ad revenue throughout the entire ecosystem. When you are running an advertising campaign, it is important to monitor it closely. This means keeping an eye on the messaging and imagery you are using, and staying up-to-date about what people are saying about your organization, so you can respond quickly if needed. Monitoring online activity also allows you to track any potential attempts at spreading disinformation about your organization so that you can take corrective action as soon as possible.
  3. Be Transparent with Your Audience
    Part of combating disinformation is being open and honest with your audience. If customers see something in your campaign that they are unsure about, you should address these concerns head-on. This helps build trust with customers by showing them that the organization is taking steps to ensure the integrity of its advertising efforts. Let customers know that you are committed to accuracy and that they can trust you as a source of information. Additionally, transparency helps discourage malicious actors from targeting an organization’s ad campaigns because it makes it more difficult to spread false information or manipulate public opinion without getting caught quickly.
  4. Fact Check Your Sources
    Another important part of combating disinformation is ensuring that the information you are sharing is accurate. Always fact-check your sources before sharing any information in an ad campaign. This will help to ensure that you are not inadvertently spreading false information.
  5. Utilize Technological Solutions
    Having a plan and systems in place to prevent disinformation from spreading can be a great line of defense in protecting your organization. A variety of technological solutions already exist to help detect and prevent disinformation attacks. For example, content filtering, fraud prevention, social media monitoring, and moderation tools can help identify and remove harmful content before it is disseminated widely. Additionally, machine learning algorithms can be used to automatically flag content that may be manipulative or false.
  6. Ensure Your Team Is Aware and Educated on Disinformation Attacks
    Raising awareness among campaign staff and volunteers about the threat of disinformation attacks is critical. Staff should be trained in identifying potential attacks and how to report them. Implement training and other educational materials so your team knows what steps to take to protect themselves from being unwitting participants in an attack.
  7. Build a Response Capability
    The ability to monitor the narratives, accounts, outlets, and technical signatures is critical. However, your staff should also be able to respond to such narratives by gaining access to the source of the disinformation and have a public relations strategy ready to combat the false narratives.
Disinformation poses a serious threat to brands through advertising campaigns, but there are steps that administrators can take to combat it. Fortunately, there are several proactive strategies you can take in order to protect your organization from malicious attacks. By being vigilant and closely monitoring campaigns, fact-checking sources, and raising awareness with staff, businesses can take steps to combat disinformation and protect their reputation.

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