In a polarizing political environment, news programming across numerous platforms continues to generate millions of viewers each day. In a political off-year, three 24-hour news networks remain the three highest rated cable networks on television. Nonetheless, at times, polarizing comments or questionable content from news providers has led marketers, concerned about brand safety, to pull their ads. Conversely, reliable news providers continue to be a safe harbor for advertisers with positive results.

A study from MAGNA Media Trials and Disney Advertising Sales released today called “No News Is Bad News: Ads in News & Other Types of Content,” finds advertising in a reliable news source creates stronger brand effectiveness. The study also found a tailored ad in the news genre can deliver an optimal ROI for marketers. Below are some other findings.

People found news content to be more valuable, trustworthy and interesting. Respondents said ads in news content were 8% more relevant, 6% more valuable and 4% more trustworthy when compared to non-news programming.

News that is considered to be depressing can still help to drive brand impact. The study found brand favorability grew by 7% with product recommendations increased by 5% from ads airing in a gloomy newscast.


In a statement about the survey, Joshua Lowcock, the Chief Digital Officer at UM Worldwide and Global Safety Officer at IPG Mediabrands says, “An important insight from the study is how passionate people feel about the news source that a brand advertises on, and the reliability of that source is a key driver of purchase intent.” Lowcock continues, “Brands should support quality journalism if they want to maximize the effectiveness of their ad spend. It recognizes that credible and trusted news websites are not a brand safety risk and that where you place your ad matters.”

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