PRESS RELEASE – authored by brands4news.org –
June 15, 2022, New York. Whenever there is a crisis, many brands pause advertising on news platforms in their scramble to avoid any association with it.
From reporting on Covid, to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and even the abortion rights issues in the U.S., brands periodically reduce or halt their ad investments on crisis-related content. This means less money goes toward funding quality news publications that drastically intensify their reporting during crises, and as a result experience major readership spikes.
The consequence is that news publications that rely on advertising income have a perverse incentive to limit their reporting on serious matters.
A new global collective of advertising executives has found a way to reverse that paradox, and let brands continue advertising in a considerate and effective manner.
Brands4News.org was founded to help brands support quality journalism by providing them with free-to-use creative templates designed to run against crisis-related news content. These display advertising banners have a clear message that describes the cause and intention, whilst prominently displaying the brand assets (e.g. logos) in a ‘sponsored by’ manner.
This drives brand affinity and salience, and gives brands an opportunity to advertise responsibly. The creative templates are available in English and Ukrainian at launch, and the collective will release more languages based on demand.
In addition to the creative templates, Brands4News.org has published open-source lists of news websites that can be used by brands to easily advertise on high quality trusted publications during a crisis.
One domain inclusion list contains 18 Ukrainian titles that desperately need financial support to continue their reporting. The other list contains 27 mainstream English language publications that have been qualified as ‘trusted’ by The Global Disinformation Index. According to Similarweb data, the Ukrainian titles collectively generate over 550M visits per month, and the mainstream publications collectively generate over 3BN visits per month.
Brands4News.org was initiated and self-funded by Ruben Schreurs in March with a public request for support. The collective has since grown to 14 contributors working predominantly pro bono from around the world, including four Ukrainian citizens. One of them is Dmitry Gnatiuk, Brands4News.org’s Creative Production Lead, who created all HTML5 banner templates during the evenings from a shelter in Kyiv.
Ruben Schreurs, Initiator of Brands4News.org, said: “I am amazed by the incredible dedication of the people that helped bring this to life. Our shared conviction is that free, truthful, and high-quality journalism is a vital foundation of a sustainable global society. We have delivered something we believe can help support quality journalism now, and in the future, and we hope to see brands allocate a part of their advertising budgets to this cause.
“Our call for support still stands and we welcome anyone that would like to contribute to our effort. We are also eager to receive feedback and requests with regards to the creative templates and domain inclusion lists, as we have made a start but by no means consider our work perfect or finished.”
Ruben Schreurs is Group Chief Product Officer at Ebiquity Plc (LSE:EBQ), world leader in media investment analysis. Brands4News.org is a private undertaking with no formal affiliation to Ebiquity. Other contributors work for Jounce Media, Kepler Group, The Global Disinformation Index, FirstPartyCapital, Magnite, Moby Creative and Ebiquity.
Ben Epstein, Jounce Media; Chris Kane, Jounce Media; Danny Rogers, The Global Disinformation Index; Dave Mallon, The Global Disinformation Index; Dmitry Gnatiuk, self-employed; Hanna Sokolova, Ebiquity; Ibrahim Merican, Magnite; Jonathan D’Souza-Rauto, Kepler Group; Kevin Flood, FirstPartyCapital; Khrystyna Bohovid, Ebiquity; Louis Connor, Kepler Group; Niels Oedzes, Moby Creative; Ruben Schreurs, Ebiquity; Veronika Ponamarchuk, Ebiquity.
Ukrainian news publications featured at launch
Censor.net; Detector.media; Hmarochos.kiev.ua; Korrespondent.net; Kyivindependent.com; LB.ua; Liga.net; NV.ua; Obozrevatel.com; Pravda.com.ua; Slidstvo.info; Texty.org.ua; Ukrinform.net; Unian.ua; Zaborona.com; Zaxid.net; Zbruc.eu; ZN.ua.
Mainstream news publications featured at launch
Abcnews.com; Aljazeera.com; APnews.com; BBC.com; Bloomberg.com; Bostonglobe.com; Businessinsider.com; CBSnews.com; Chicagotribune.com; CNBC.com; CNN.com; Economist.com; fd.nl; FT.com; Independent.co.uk; LAtimes.com; NBCnews.com; NPR.org; NYmag.com; NYtimes.com; Politico.com; Reuters.com; Telegraph.co.uk; TheAtlantic.com; TheGuardian.com; Washingtonpost.com; WSJ.com.
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Background articles on the issue in the press