Keep your ads off misinformation websites.

BrandGuard is the only humanly generated, constantly updated solution to help advertisers, agencies, and ad-tech companies avoid advertising on misinformation sites while finding valuable new inventory on trustworthy news sites.

Our team of analysts reviews thousands of news and information sites, covering 95% of online engagement in each market, to certify trustworthy news sites while flagging untrustworthy domains that spread dangerous misinformation and conspiracy theories or pose as news sources to generate ad revenue.

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Example BrandGuard Partners
Verizon Media
Index Exchange
Gum Gum
Publicis Media

Brands send millions of ad dollars to misinformation sites each year.

A recent analysis of programmatic advertising data found that more than 1,600 brands, including some of the largest and most trusted companies in the world, financed websites pushing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election through programmatic ad placements.  Combined, brands send millions of dollars each year to misinformation sites, from foreign propaganda sites to anti-vaccine hoaxes.

When ads appear on misinformation, it’s bad for consumers, bad for brands, and bad for democracy.

BrandGuard is designed to help keep your ads on credible news sites while avoiding misinformation.

  BrandGuard helps advertisers find valuable, brand-safe inventory on trusted news sites while avoiding misinformation.

NewsGuard’s team provides detailed ratings and 0-100 point trust scores for thousands of domains—assessing each site based on nine simple, apolitical journalistic criteria. Sites with high scores are trusted, brand-safe news sites that cover even controversial topics in a fair and evenhanded way. Sites with low scores publish hoaxes, conspiracy theories, or other forms of unreliable news.

Our data is licensed by advertisers, agencies, DSPs, SSPs, and other AdTech companies to help them avoid advertising on misinformation websites or target advertisements to trusted news sites. Licensees of NewsGuard’s data product for brand safety can access NewsGuard’s full database of ratings, along with numerous metadata fields that describe each site—such as whether it contains health misinformation, conspiracy theories, or highly partisan content, what kind of news it covers, and other traits. For example:

  • Targeting trusted inventory: Some brands using BrandGuard target campaigns on sites with particularly high trust scores from NewsGuard—90 points out of 100 or above, ensuring their ads are served to the engaged, high-value audiences that read credible news sites.
  • Smarter keyword blocking: BrandGuard’s data can be used in conjunction with keyword blocklists to increase campaign reach without added risk. For example, some advertisers block ad placements on pages with keywords related to controversial news topics—such as “COVID-19” or “Election”—unless those pages are on a domain with a high NewsGurad trust score.
  • Avoiding misinformation: Advertisers can use BrandGuard as an added layer of protection to ensure brand safety—blocking all ad placements on websites with low trust scores from NewsGuard or avoiding specific types of misinformation, such as health misinformation, conspiracy theories, or political misinformation.

The data and metadata can be sorted and filtered flexibly by companies licensing the data set. NewsGuard’s brand safety filters are currently available to brands through integrations with Peer39 within DSPs like MediaMath, AppNexus, Amobee, and Centro, and is used by SSP’s like TripleLift to identify problematic domains that may need to be reviewed for removal from a network.

How It Works

  Human Intelligence, not AI:
NewsGuard deploys trained journalists to assess the trustworthiness of thousands of news and information sites in each market. Our ratings cover 95% of online engagement–from large national and international sources to small local outlets to digital-only news sites, niche blogs, and trade publications.

  Rigorous Reviews: Each site is reviewed based on nine simple, apolitical journalistic criteria. Based on the criteria, each site gets an overall rating of Green (generally trustworthy) or Red (generally untrustworthy) and a trust score of 0-100. based on the criteria.

  Transparent Process: All of NewsGuard’s ratings are backed up by a detailed “Nutrition Label” for the domain, which explains how the site fared on each of the nine criteria and provides examples and links backing up the rating. Any publisher can check their Nutrition Label using NewsGuard’s browser extension. And our analysts proactively reach out to publishers before we publish a rating to give them a chance to correct any problems or provide an explanation, which we will publish as part of the Nutrition Label.

  Detailed Dataset: NewsGuard’s analysts track over 40 metadata fields for each site, allowing for flexible and targeted filtering.

  Constantly Updated: Our analysts periodically review our rating for each site and update ratings if something changes. We also monitor industry changes, such as mergers and acquisitions, to update sites more frequently when something is new.

  Simple Campaign Decisions: Advertisers can use NewsGuard’s data to avoid ad placements on unreliable domains, expand their lists of allowed news domains by adding sites with high trust scores from NewsGuard, or make more targeted decisions—like avoiding ad placements on sites that have published COVID-19 misinformation specifically. Our team will work with you to help you customize the way you use our dataset to meet your specific brand guidelines or campaign needs.

  Flexible Integration Options: NewsGuard’s data can be used at the brand or agency level to expand blocked or allowed domain lists or as a pre-bid decision within partner DSPs, including Amobee DSP, Basis by Centro, AppNexus, and MediaMath. DSP’s and SSP’s can also license NewsGuard’s lists wholesale to improve the overall quality of news inventory on their exchanges.

Get Started with BrandGuard

Request a consultation to learn more about our services and how we can customize them to meet the needs of your brand, agency, or ad platform.

Get a misinformation advertising audit to find out whether your brand or platform includes misinformation sites and whether you’re missing out on credible news sites from our list.

Customize your BrandGuard criteria in your demand-side platform, agency, or by working directly with our team. You can decide to avoid all misinformation sites or just certain categories–and to target credible news sites based on category, credbility score, and other factors.

Run campaigns on credible news—without funding misinformation. We’ll apply your criteria to your next campaign, giving you peace of mind that your brand is only advertising on credible news sites.

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