(27 September 2018)
Thanks for reaching out to us. We’ll get this to the Nando’s team right away. Will do our best to meet your deadline.
28 September 2018
1. The driving force behind misinformation/fake news websites such as these are monetising the traffic it generates, mainly through advertising revenue. Your company is indirectly contributing towards this with the programmatic advertisements seen on the site. Would you consider this statement a fair summary? If not, please indicate an alternative.
Absolutely not! We don’t support fake news, in fact, we actively work to avoid our adverts featuring on these sites. We use Google Display Network to display advertising programmatically which is designed to target the right audience, at the right place and the right time. These display sites don’t target where adverts are placed but rather target the individual user so unfortunately sometimes adverts do appear on unintended sites due to this targeting methodology.
We work hard to prevent this from happening by building a negative site list where we don’t want our banners displayed on. We currently have an extensive list of these sites which gets longer every day. In addition, Google also actively identifies and removes fake news and other deceptive sites from their overall inventory.
2. Who is responsible for your company’s marketing strategy? Do you make use of in-house or external talent to identify and implement these strategies?
Nando’s has an internal marketing team that looks after all marketing strategy, including digital media and we work in close collaboration with external partners that manage our digital marketing and media strategy.
3. What is the mandate of your company’s marketing strategists mentioned in 2) above in respect of advertising on blacklisted websites? For example, how do you ensure that your brand is not associated with pornographic or illegal websites?
Our partners use a programmatic capability that employs a blacklist that is updated monthly. It specifically blocks ads from being bought on sites that have been identified as carrying porn, hate speech, terrorism, fake news, and many other categories.
4. Do you take similar precautions to ensure your brand is not associated with misinformation websites? If not, why not?
Yes, we do. We work with our partners to ensure that as sites are identified, they are added to the blacklist. Given the volume of websites, and the new sites that come online every month, keeping this list up to date, happens on an ongoing basis.
5. Were you aware that your advertisements were being published on websites propagating false stories as news?
No, we were not aware of this advert which ran in 2017. We would never knowingly buy ads on these types of sites. This wasn’t a direct buy, but rather a programmatic buy where the ad on the site in question was displayed to an individual who had previously visited our website or engaged with one of our other ads.
6. Now that you are aware that your brand is advertising on misinformation websites, what steps do you intend taking to safeguard the integrity of your brand?
We do not and will not support fake news and will continue to protect the integrity of our brand by adding sites like these to our blacklist.
Su-Lise Tessendorf-Louw, General Manager: Brand and Communication Nando’s IMEA