Supporting Responsible Media: New Tools and Solutions from Ad Fontes Media

January 5, 2024



With the rise in AI-generated made-for-advertising (MFA) websites, trustworthy publishers need strategies and tools to stand out for their quality content.

We recently hosted a webinar with Ad Fontes Media to share how publishers can differentiate themselves through their reliable, impartial content. AAM partners with Ad Fontes to create a media bias chart featuring AAM publishers.

Here’s a recap of our discussion with Ad Fontes Media’s Kenny Paul about these solutions, including a new program to give advertisers visibility into a publisher’s bias and reliability ratings at the article level.


How Made-for-Advertising Websites Impact Quality Media

20 percent of impressions are shown on wasteful sites like MFAs.MFA sites are created to generate ad revenue without much consideration for quality or adhering to journalism standards. Since these sites often look legitimate, MFAs compete with quality publishers for revenue, making it challenging for advertisers to determine what sites they can trust with their media investment.

“The ability to target quality media has never been more important to media buyers than it is right now,” said Kevin Rehberg, AAM’s vice president of client development. “It’s easier than ever for bad actors to create sites using AI technology, making It can be hard to tell what’s legitimate and what’s not.”

The ANA’s Programmatic Media Supply Chain Transparency Study found that of the $88 billion spent in the open marketplace, 20% of impressions are shown on wasteful sites like MFAs. “These sites are stealing from the pockets of premium publishers and delivering metrics and KPIs that look great, but they’re vanity metrics that do nothing for return on ad spend,” Paul said.

Paul added that another challenge is that brands often use extensive keyword blocking techniques that limit their ad placements without evidence that investing in news harms brand safety. “This ‘better safe than sorry’ strategy is not supported by real data,” Paul said.


Solutions to Differentiate Premium Publishers

Ad Fontes Media created a methodology to rate news media for reliability and political bias to help quality publishers stand out from questionable content. “Our mission is to bring $1 billion in media spend back to premium journalism and responsible media,” Paul said.

Paul shared that when researching publisher partners, media planners are looking for:

  • Incremental reach
  • Unduplicated reach
  • Premium audiences
  • Efficient CPMs

Paul added that legitimate news publishers often deliver on all points. “There are no more premium audiences than those that exist in news. News opens up a lot of great reach for brands, unlike MFA websites.”


A New AI-Powered Tool for Publishers

In addition to the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart® and the chart featuring AAM-audited publishers, Paul also shared a new tool that uses AI to create daily publisher bias and reliability ratings that can be customized based on an advertiser’s brand suitability standards. The tool analyzes articles to highlight what is suitable while excluding those that might fall outside the brand’s standards.

“We can open up more inventory for publishers while decreasing a brand’s risk aversion and concerns about investing in news,” Paul added.



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