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All News Is Good News, For Brands

Brands are constantly looking for ways to combat brand safety issues. Unruly’s own research found that 60% of people believe that more than half of what they read on social media is fake, it makes sense that they would try every trick in the book to ensure their ads are running against premium, trustworthy content.

But, despite this flight to quality, brands are often gun shy when it comes to placing content next to news content, fearing that negative or more serious stories could have impact brand perceptions and campaign metrics.

However a new study co-published this week by News Corp and Nielsen suggests just the opposite. The study, which tested audiences’ responses to ads in simulated news environments, found that news sites drive higher purchase intent and recommendation than categories such as sports and travel, and helps increase positive brand affinity.

Other key findings from the research include:

  • Brands experienced an increase in purchase intent of 44% when running ads against news content — significantly more than other content categories.
  • Negative or political news content is no more likely to adversely impact consumer attitude towards a brand than any other publisher category
  • Respondents were 42% more likely to recommend a brand to a friend when viewing content on a news publisher, 10% higher than other sites
  • Business and news sites were 39% and 38%, respectively, more likely to drive positive brand perception

Unruly runs its user-friendly outstream ads across its network of premium publishers, In fact, Unruly is the exclusive outstream partner on News Corp’s news sites including the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, The Times, News.com.au, and more.

As Jesse Angelo, News Corp’s Chief of Advertising Solutions and CEO of the New York Post put it, “there is a common misconception among marketers that news is bad for brands, but as this survey shows: that’s simply not true. News has always been and continues to be an effective place to advertise because of its ability to inform and engage its audience.”

UnrulyX Shield, our in-house brand safety team, ensures all ads are delivered in safe, premium environments, backed by our fraud-free guarantee. We’re also certified in the highest level of 3rd party verification including TAG tier-1 certified for anti-fraud and quality control.


Nielsen Media Lab fielded a survey of 5,833 respondents ages 18 to 64 using a methodology designed to replicate the experience of reading a website article. The goal of the study was to test how a consumer’s brand perception and how their purchasing behavior might be affected by the publication category in which their ad runs.

To replicate the diversity of content that falls under the news category, articles that were determined under preset parameters to be positive, negative or neutral content, were served to the respondents.