In recent years, corporations have been burned after their online advertisements appeared next to offensive content – including fake news, porn, and hateful or racist materials. This can happen due to the way ad serving agencies categorize audiences vs. content. As a result, advertisers are now stipulating that they don’t want their content featured on certain websites or articles with certain keywords.
“Political stories are, regardless of party affiliation, not relevant to our brand,” a Fidelity spokesman told the Journal in a statement, adding that the company also avoids several other topics which aren’t in alignment with their values.
That said, blacklists are not new to the advertising industry – such as airlines avoiding articles dealing with airline crashes. They are, however, becoming far more complex, specific, and extensive according to ad executives.