The scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming has been considered to be 97% for the last 15 years, with some believing it may even be as high as 99% now, yet climate change denial, in the form of scepticism and misinformation, is proliferating. Such content is not only made more credible by the accompaniment of brand advertising but is actively funded by agencies and advertisers, undermining and contradicting companies’ values and own sustainability initiatives.
Whilst some publishers have attempted to combat this by reviewing their “level playing field” policies, other news outlets that rely on controversial and sensational headlines and articles for traffic have not adopted the same practices. Furthermore, there is a growing wealth of content sitting outside of traditional publishers, such as on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, where initiatives aimed at decreasing the prominence of misinformation and conspiracy theories haven’t seemed to address Climate Change denial.
The Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) have created guidelines and specific advice that relate to Misinformation and Disinformation, which provide a good foundation for understanding the best ways to avoid general misinformation, however, we believe that more targeted action is needed to directly combat Climate Change denial content and its nuances.
Our ambition is for agencies to no longer facilitate the funding of Climate Change denial content, putting measures in place to also avoid doing so inadvertently. In order to achieve this, we propose that all agencies actively adhere to CAN principles around Misinformation and Disinformation, specifically in relation to Climate Change denial content.
In order to navigate the complexities of the subject, new IPA members Media Bounty have created guidelines and specific advice for combatting the funding of Climate Change denial content.
Advertising funds the internet - and that means that our client’s media budget could be inadvertently funding misinformation of all kinds. Strategists can use this guide to understand how to protect brand equity in an adversarial online context, and media planners can use this guide to help your clients avoid funding misinformation. This guide is full of practical information and advise on:
Download the Change the Narrative report (produced by Media Bounty in collaboration with CAN, Pulsar & Cheq)
This guide is the first in a series of content on climate disinformation from Media Bounty & CAN. To receive more information about climate disinformation in the run up to COP26, get in touch with Media Bounty, or sign up for the newsletter of The Conscious Advertising Network.
We include here a list of sites notorious for spreading disinformation that can easily be added to your exclusion lists.
In cases where a publishers’ content doesn’t generally warrant exclusion, we will provide advice on best approaches for avoiding offending content, i.e. through pre-bid filters.
We are aiming to create a centralised climate misinformation exclusion list over the next Quarter.