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Fighting Disinformation: How Brands Can Build Trust in the Era of Fake News

Fighting Disinformation: How Brands Can Build Trust in the Era of Fake News

Fighting Disinformation: How Brands Can Build Trust in the Era of Fake News

What is Fake News?

The concept of fake news is ancient, as it’s said that the first fake news was shared in the Babylonian epic in the 14th century BCE and concerned Gilgamesh. The phenomenon of disinformation, spreading false information on a chosen topic, has been battled for years. Most of them appear on the internet, particularly on social media.

Social media platforms are designed to facilitate quick content consumption in a short and accessible format. It’s this speed that’s crucial because fake news spreads as rapidly as a virus, seizing larger areas. Their “success” relies on short, sensational, and negative slogans. They gain popularity on platforms like Instagram or Facebook because they’re shared by our friends, whom we potentially trust more than big corporations, known companies, or politicians.

Social media creates informational bubbles that become dangerous in terms of spreading fake news. Young people often consider Facebook the most credible source of information and don’t want to verify whether what they read on the platform is true because they don’t read newspapers, news websites, or watch news programs.

Their speed of delivery is so high that sometimes there’s no time to verify them. Unfortunately, haste is also visible in journalism, so journalists often spread fake news themselves. Their acceptance in consumers’ minds is high because they often relate to our prejudices, assumptions, and if they confirm them on a topic we doubted, we often don’t feel like verifying them.

How Should Brands Fight Fake News?

In our report “Post-COVID Consumer Behaviors: What Consumers Expect from Companies after the COVID-19 Pandemic,” we mentioned that customers want companies to act in line with their beliefs and expectations. And one of those things is the transparency of actions.

You can read the full report by signing up for our newsletter: [INSERT FORM]

Transparency of actions includes, among other things, showing the backstage of running a company, showing how products are made. If a company declares that it uses recycled materials to produce its goods, customers want to be sure that it’s true. In this regard, a good solution is to shoot a short video showing the entire process. Many years ago, McDonald’s did this by showing how their hamburgers were prepared for advertising.

Another thing worth doing is educating customers. This includes, among other things, fake news. The European Commission’s Task Force for Strategic Communication on Disinformation operates in Europe, but its main task is to control information concerning international politics. The main task of the commission is to increase citizens’ awareness and encourage them to verify the source of information. But companies can also do this independently. Because an informed consumer is the greatest potential in the fight against fake news.

Did You Know…

In 2016, the most popular fake news was that Pope Francis supported Donald Trump in the US presidential elections. The Vatican quickly denied the rumor, but even long after that, the information continued to spread.

Fighting fake news also involves effectively monitoring what’s happening with the competition. By observing them and seeing their crises, you can learn a lot from others’ experiences. Although it won’t always help prevent them, you can be prepared for them. Companies need to act quickly, respond quickly. Extinguish the flame before the fire ignites.

Good PR is the basis of companies’ operations, and when combined with branding focused on promoting reliable information, it provides a good basis for fighting fake news – especially those coming from competitors.

Amazon provided its customers with an application that allows them to verify whether all negative reviews regarding a particular product are true or fake news. Such action combines customer education in the field of fake news, preventing crises, and pro-consumer action, which translates into building customer trust in Amazon.

Building a Company’s Image through Advertising

The image of a company is influenced by all the actions it takes. These include, among others, advertisements. In February 2024, a study commissioned by the Inbound Marketing Institute was conducted on consumers’ perceptions of advertisements. Television commercials were mainly assessed. What came out of the research?

  • As many as 76% of respondents said they come into contact with advertisements every day.
  • 45% of respondents like watching advertisements and consider it a pleasant activity.
  • 24% of respondents trust advertising messages.

The results clearly show that advertisements are an important medium for companies, and many consumers come into contact with them every day. Such advertising can be a great source of customer education and building good relationships with them.

Consumers have daily contact with advertisements not only on TV but also outdoors, where they encounter advertisements in the form of OOH, DOOH, and in public transport. Each of them builds brand awareness but can also be conducted in the form of an educational campaign. Each of them can also show the company’s CSR activities. In educating consumers through outdoor advertising, our agency can help you, as we have been helping companies reach a wide audience through creative advertising campaigns for years. Interested?

Then write to us, and let’s see what we can prepare together.


BE Media

We provide comprehensive service and implementation of Out-of-home advertising . Thanks to years of experience we know where to find your potential customers and what means to use to draw the attention to your advertising. The confidence that brands have in us is not unfounded – we simply implement effective campaigns. Despite the multitude of media in various parts of the city, we are not obtrusive. Our adverts are not very invasive – both for the user and for the urban landscape. They do not irritate but intrigue the audience. In our opinion, this is the best way for the campaign to be saved in the memory of a potential client.