Advertising in a #FakeNews world.

Last week Kellogg’s pulled their advertising from alleged #FakeNews site Breitbart. Someone was offended. It’s pretty easy to offend someone these days. In fact, I think I’ve been offended at least once today by someone’s opinion.

I’ve always felt it crazy for brands to stick their noses into political issues where they’re likely to annoy half of their market. But that’s not what happened here. This was all about ad placement that was likely done automatically by a bot. And to make matters worse, the #FakeNews publisher is trying a little jujitsu in attempt to leverage the deplorable market share that Kellogg’s may or may not have offended by pulling their dollars.

Kellogg’s now finds itself in the middle of a shit storm simply because some asshole wrote something that offended some other asshole. Not their fault. Then some other asshole made himself the arbiter of truth and came up with a #FakeNews hashtag. So now people think Kellogg’s supports #FakeNews written by the KGB. But I suppose we can all relax now that we live in a “post truth” world. As if people ever gave a damn about facts they don’t agree with.

So what do you do if you’re an advertiser who finds themselves in the crosshairs of a #FakeNews protest? Kellogg’s is probably doing the best it can with the press hysteria these days. They’ve made several statements about positive values that the folks with the big microphones are repeating. Donald J. Troll will tweet something crazy again and everyone will move on to the outrage du jour. For Kellogg’s, Life will go on. They are a big ad spender and as long as they show contrition the dogs will be called off.

What about the rest of us with less media dollars to throw around? We should be careful about the digital ad networks we use and how our placement occurs. I certainly don’t want my brand associated with Info Wars no matter how entertaining Alex Jone’s performance art is. It is performance art, right?

Posted on: December 6, 2016, by :