Industry stakeholders, including WFA and GARM, have drafted and endorsed a strengthened EU Code of Practice designed to fight the spread and monetisation of disinformation.
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Leading social media companies and representatives of the marketing and advertising industry, including WFA and GARM, have developed a new EU Code of Practice designed to address the spread of disinformation online.
The new Code, which sets forth commitments and measures all players involved in the online ecosystem should take to tackle this serious issue, has now been published by the European Commission and brand owners can, on a voluntary basis, sign up to the commitments on advertising.
The aim is to address some of the shortcomings of the previous 2018 Code of Practice (of which WFA was a signatory), which had been identified by the European Commission in its 2021 guidance on how to better counter disinformation online.
One of the main objectives of the revised Code is to ‘significantly improve the scrutiny of advertisement placements, notably to reduce revenues of purveyors of disinformation’.
Ecosystem partners participating in ad placements will now have to take measures to defund disinformation, improve the policies and systems that determine what content is monetised, put in place controls around ad placement and monetisation, and provide data that measures the accuracy and effectiveness of these controls.
One of the commitments for advertisers is to adopt brand safety and verification tools through their media planning, buying and reporting process, and to report on the procedures and processes undertaken to prevent their ad spend from monetising disinformation.
The commitments and measures set forth in the Code are aligned with and complementary to the work already ongoing through GARM, a cross-industry initiative set up by WFA in 2019 designed to drive transparency and accountability for the placement and monetisation of ads online and removing harmful content from advertiser-supported media.
Stephan Loerke, CEO: “WFA welcomes the launch of the strengthened Code of Practice on disinformation, which we believe marks a notable improvement compared to its predecessor. GARM’s endorsement of the Code as a new signatory is a testament to WFA and brands’ ongoing commitment to brand safety and to preventing ad revenues from landing in the hands of purveyors of disinformation. We look forward to continuing working with the industry to drive meaningful change and create a safer online ecosystem for consumers, businesses and society at large.”
WFA will be closely involved in the implementation and monitoring process. For more information about the Code of Practice please reach out to Gabrielle Robitaille, Senior Digital Policy Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rob Rakowitz, Initiative Lead, GARM, at email@example.com