Prohaska Consulting Announces “The Rebranding of News” Initiative

New research shows 76% of the industry agrees it’s safe for brands to advertise in legitimate news environments, but 1 in 3 U.S. advertisers have blocked news entirely.

Initiative aims to reduce barriers for media buyers and brands in reaching valuable news audiences. 

New York, NY – January 10, 2024. Seven in ten advertisers, publishers and tech professionals agree that the advertising industry has an important responsibility to play in de-monetizing disinformation and renewing funding for legitimate news.

This finding is part of a new study published today by Prohaska Consulting, the digital media and marketing consulting company. The research is part of a larger initiative, “The Rebranding of News,” which includes leading publishing and technology partners, including The E.W. Scripps Company, Magnite, Newsbreak, Outbrain, and The Daily Voice.

The collective effort is a six-month campaign to bring together news publishers, media buyers, and advertisers, to identify and solve challenges associated with advertising on news, while demonstrating the unique value that independent news brings to the advertising ecosystem and the vital quality of news audiences.

The research, conducted with Advertiser Perceptions, found all segments of the advertising industry agree that news integrity is a critical priority for society and that the advertising industry has a responsibility to support legitimate news sources. It also points to challenges that exist in the digital ad ecosystem that can be addressed by a concerted industry effort.

Among the key data points:

  • 75% of respondents agree that free and democratic societies are currently at risk from online disinformation and propaganda drowning out legitimate news sources.
  • 70% of respondents agree that the advertising industry has an important role to play in de-monetizing disinformation and renewing funding for legitimate news.
  • 32% of U.S. advertisers have been given directives to block the news category overall at some point.
  • 74% of U.S. advertiser respondents say they are adapting brand safety approaches to combat disinformation and support credible journalism, but only 22% have received an executive-level mandate to proactively fund that effort.

“We have a unique appreciation and insight in seeing how poor policy, fear- and atrophy-based behavior, ad blocking, and poor filtering from advertisers, agencies, and ad tech has led to the rapid degradation of the news category as a foundation of brand advertising,” said Matt Prohaska, CEO & Principal of Prohaska Consulting.

“There’s a lack of understanding in the industry in how to align and direct ad spending with what brands and consumers want and appreciate, which are trustworthy news environments. This research and initiative will bring people together to address the disconnect and signal a need to reverse the trend of lower ad spend, which hurts journalism and publishing at a local, national, and global basis.”

“The Rebranding of News” is a potent complement to consumer research published by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in 2020 on how advertising in news benefits brands. That study showed that more than 8 in 10 consumers feel advertising within the news increases or maintains trust in the brands they see there. Today’s report from Prohaska Consulting and Advertiser Perceptions identifies a number of systemic gaps that prevent advertisers from capitalizing on that trust.

  • 42% of U.S. advertisers say they insist on fully transparent “sellers.json” directories, but only 10% of advertisers are very familiar with that technology.
  • 62% of advertisers do not block known disinformation/propaganda channels.
  • 56% of advertisers do not use advanced brand suitability filters for contextual nuance (e.g., sentiment, language and visual cues)

The news category was once a prominent ad buy for brand advertisers seeking to reach premium audiences, engaged in what’s happening in the world. However, that category has seen a steady decline in advertising, as digital media buying practices, including keyword filtering, are not optimized for news environments. The research suggests opportunities may be found in more automated contextual filters, or artificial intelligence tools that determine sentiment, as newer alternatives.

“The information ecosystem is becoming increasingly complex for today’s news consumer. In a time when deepfakes are proliferating – along with content masquerading as reliable news sources – consumer need and demand for high-quality news is reaching peak levels,” said Brian Norris, Scripps Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer.

“‘The Rebranding of News’ is important work as we reach that inflection point. Quality news provides advertisers brand< safety and a highly engaged audience, but supporting quality news is bigger than that. It’s essential for all of us as news consumers and participants in our democracy, and those benefits will reach far beyond the ad industry.”

For the full report, visit

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