Public Relations Tactics

Media Outlets Turn to Ads to Fight ‘Fake News’ Label

May 1, 2017


To fight the “fake news” reputation that President Trump bestowed on some members of the media, news organizations such as WNYC, The New York Times and Vanity Fair are using advertising campaigns to champion how honest and responsible their journalism work is.

“We’re in an environment where the press has been under attack and is reasserting the values that we provide people — the ability to hold power to account, that a free people require a free press and that civil discourse is critical to a functioning democracy,” Peter Weingard, CMO of WNYC, told Adweek on April 18.

To promote these values, WNYC released an ad campaign in March that included lines like “Fake news is nothing new, but it’s still fake” and “Tweets are not the whole story.”

The New York Times took a similar approach in their campaign, running a commercial with the tagline “The truth is more important now than ever” during this year’s Academy Awards telecast.
Other outlets have applied subverted versions of the President’s words to build their message. For example, Vanity Fair turned a disparaging Trump tweet aimed at the magazine into a rousing mission statement for an “alternative facts” world. (“Vanity Fair: ‘The way down, big trouble, dead!’ magazine that Trump doesn’t want you to read.”)

Why such concern on behalf of media outlets? A recent survey from Weber Shandwick, titled “A Real Plague: Fake News,” found that 82 percent of Americans are concerned about fake news, with nearly half (47 percent) reporting that they’re “very” concerned.  — Dean Essner


Gabriela Jimenez says:

Thanks for posting this, media literacy is needed more than ever.

May 14, 2017

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