Ebiquity has become the latest media industry signatory to the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation. The EU recognized that mass online disinformation campaigns are being widely used by a range of domestic and foreign actors to sow distrust and create societal tensions, with serious potential consequences for our security. Furthermore, disinformation campaigns by third countries can be part of hybrid threats to internal security, including election processes, in particular in combination with cyberattacks. For example, Russian military doctrine explicitly recognises information warfare as one of its domains.

The Code was strengthened in 2022, setting more ambitious commitments and establishing a set of critical commitments designed to minimize the incidence, impact, and monetization of online disinformation targets designed to counter online disinformation.

We are delighted to have become a signatory to the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation along with major online advertising platforms (Alphabet, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok, Twitter), key players in the advertising industry (the World Federation of Advertisers, the Internet Advertising Bureau), fact-checkers, and research and civil society organisations.

The Code sets out five commitments for signatories, covering:

  1. Scrutiny of ad placements
  2. Political and issue-based advertising
  3. Integrity of services
  4. Empowering consumers
  5. Empowering the research community

Disinformation undermines trust in social, political, economic, and scientific institutions and can lead to real world harm. By defunding disinformation, advertisers help fight other issues such as climate change denial, racism, and discrimination.

Today’s media landscape makes tracking media ESG metrics a complex global challenge. To support advertisers meet their objectives, in 2022, Ebiquity introduced the Responsible Media Investment solution, to empower advertisers matching their investment data to ESG sources and unlock actionable responsibility insights across the media supply chain.

Our research has established that many advertisers have unknowingly and inadvertently funded platforms that publish harmful disinformation content through their programmatic advertising buys. To enable responsible practices in their media buying, advertisers need to create visibility of their partners across the supply chain and match their media investment data to ESG sources.

Nick Waters, CEO of Ebiquity said: “It is only by having full transparency on exactly where ads are appearing and what they are supporting that brands can take direct action against and actively stop funding disinformation. Ebiquity’s involvement in this critical Code of Practice underlines our commitment to best-practice governance in media investment, as expressed in our vision of ‘Creating a Better Media World, Together’.”

For more information on the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, see here.

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