Semasio and NewsGuard partner to protect brands from ad placements on misinformation

New integration makes it easy for advertisers to exclude misinformation sites from ad buys—and to target ad spend toward credible domains vetted by NewsGuard’s team of expert journalists

(August 25, 2022 — New York) Semasio, a pioneer in unified contextual targeting for advertisers, and NewsGuard, the leading provider of news inventory credibility ratings for advertisers, today announced a partnership that will make it easy and seamless for brands to avoid ad placements on misinformation sources—and to direct ad spend toward credible news sites, including highly trusted local and regional publishers. 

Through the partnership, brands will be able to activate a set of contextual segments curated based on data from NewsGuard’s team of expert journalists, who assess the credibility of thousands of news and information sources using nine basic, apolitical journalistic criteria, flagging publishers that fail to meet basic journalistic standards. 

For example, brands using Semasio can enable pre-bid suppression ad placements on sites NewsGuard has flagged for publishing anti-vaccine misinformation, election integrity hoaxes, Russia-Ukraine war disinformation, or other categories of false or unreliable news.  

In addition to protecting brands via the NewsGuard exclusion list against their programmatic advertising unintentionally supporting misinformation, NewsGuard’s inclusion list enables advertisers to make more efficient purchases of programmatic advertising. A leading case study showed that an advertiser achieved a nine percent reduction in advertising cost (CPM) and a more than doubling of engagement by removing misinformation sites and instead delivering ads on high-quality news sites, including those serving local, Black, Hispanic, Asian and LGBTQ+ communities,

“Semasio ensures that our clients have the data necessary to reach high-quality audiences in high-quality contexts,” said Steve Katelman, Chief Partnership Officer at Semasio’s parent company, Fyllo. “This partnership between Semasio and NewsGuard only further solidifies our commitment to helping clients  advertise on highly performing responsible news sources of all sizes while avoiding brand risk from misinformation.”

Globally, an estimated $2.6 billion is spent placing advertisements on misinformation and disinformation websites each year, according to a report released by Comscore using NewsGuard’s data last year. Many of those ad placements are unintentional and are made without brands’ knowledge. Through the solution offered by NewsGuard and Semasio, brands will be able to avoid inadvertently financing mis- and disinformation and instead target their ads toward credible news. 

“Whenever we speak with brands or account teams at our agency partners, it’s clear that they are eager to avoid placing ads on misinformation sites—and they’re looking for simple and seamless ways to exclude such sites when activating their campaigns and instead to focus on those publishers that are most credible and effective” said Gordon Crovitz, Co-CEO of NewsGuard. “Through this partnership with Semasio, brands will have a simple way to do so using Semasio’s innovative contextual targeting technology.” 

The NewsGuard segments are expected to launch within the Semasio platform in Q3 of this year. Brands, agencies, and others interested in learning more about the solution may contact NewsGuard here.


About NewsGuard 

Launched in March 2018 by media entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Steven Brill and former Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz, NewsGuard provides credibility ratings and detailed “Nutrition Labels” for thousands of news and information websites. NewsGuard rates all the news and information websites that account for 95% of online engagement across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, and Italy. NewsGuard products include NewsGuard, BrandGuard, which helps marketers concerned about their brand safety, and the Misinformation Fingerprints catalog of top hoaxes.

NewsGuard rates each site based on nine apolitical criteria of journalistic practice, including whether a site repeatedly publishes false content, whether it regularly corrects or clarifies errors, and whether it avoids deceptive headlines. It awards weighted points for each criterion and sums them up; a score of less than 60 earns a “Red” rating, while 60 and above earns a “Green” rating, which indicates it is generally reliable.

NewsGuard’s ratings and Nutrition Labels can be licensed by internet service providers, browsers, news aggregators, education companies, and social media and search platforms in order to make NewsGuard’s information about news websites available to their users. 

Consumers can access these ratings by purchasing a subscription to NewsGuard, which costs $4.95/month, €4.95/month or £4.95/month, and includes access to NewsGuard’s browser extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox and its mobile app for iOS and Android. The extension is available for free on Microsoft’s Edge browser through a license agreement with Microsoft. Hundreds of public libraries globally receive free access to use NewsGuard’s browser extension on their public-access computers to give their patrons more context for the news they encounter online. For more information, including to download the browser extension and review the ratings process, visit newsguardtech.com.


About Semasio

Semasio, now part of Fyllo, is a pioneer in unified contextual targeting for digital marketing, enabling marketers to seamlessly combine audience, contextual and brand fit solutions into one targeting strategy, both on the buy and the sell side. Founded in Hamburg in 2010, today the company is active in 50 countries and its semantic analysis engine supports more than 30 languages. Learn more at www.semasio.com.


NewsGuard Contact

  • media@newsguardtech.com