Need to know

  • The use of automated brand safety tools is leading advertisers to blacklist content on premium publisher sites without an understanding of the context of the editorial.
  • An article published by in The Guardian about the World Chess Championships, for instance, was flagged for supposedly containing violent content.
  • Newsworks, the UK body for newsbrands, wanted to investigate whether ad responses were affected by their position in hard or soft news environments.
  • Working with Neuro-Insight, Newsworks recruited 133 print and digital newsbrand readers aged between 18 and 65 in London and Sheffield.
  • Participants’ brain responses were measured while they read the current edition of their chosen newspaper, either online via a laptop or in print.
  • 86% agreed that newsbrands have a role to keep them up to date with all kinds of stories, and that sometimes they can be upsetting or shocking.
  • There is no reader withdrawal from hard news. In fact, research shows higher initial levels of brain activity for hard news as people engage with the story.
  • The average ad dwell time is 1.4 times higher in a hard news environment (45 seconds versus 35 seconds).
  • While average response levels of response to ads in hard and soft news environments are similar, the pattern of response shows more and stronger peaks for ads in hard news, suggesting a greater likelihood of key messages being encoded into memory.