NEW ORLEANS: CNN, the news provider, believes the concept of brand safety should be expanded in a way that more clearly demarcates trustworthy content sources from purveyors of fake and misleading material.

Meredith Artley, SVP/editor-in-chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, discussed this subject during a session at the 2018 Collision conference.

And she reflected on the fact that many brands have been startled by the rise of fake news, consumer pressure connected to advertising in certain shows, and boycott threats against companies seen as adopting the wrong political positions.

“Advertisers in these turbulent times might not want to be associated with news that is ‘bad’. That could be polarising news, tough news, tragic news. And you can kind of understand that,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: CNN seeks to redefine brand safety.)

“You don’t want to have your brand up against this chaotic news environment that exists right now. It’s understandable in a way. But it’s problematic for CNN – and for many other news organisations.”

Building on this theme, she suggested that the outcomes of this trend could be negative for media owners and consumers alike.

“You really don’t want to end up in a situation where advertisers only want to be up against good news and nothing else, and the rest … needs to get put behind a paywall and becomes less accessible, especially to people who might need it most, or might not want to or be willing to pay for it. That’s really the core message,” Artley said.

Given the weight and urgency of this claim, CNN is aiming to redefine what brand safety involves in practice for advertisers.

“I would argue that a new definition of brand safety must emerge. It’s not about marketers not wanting to be next to so-called bad content. It’s about marketers wanting to be inside of the umbrella of a trusted news brand,” she said.

“And we want to take this idea to market, if you will. We’re kind of rolling this out … when we go and talk to people who want to support global independent journalism [and] they want to do it within an environment that stands for truth, and facts, and integrity. That’s what we’re after.”

Sourced from WARC