PSSI Perspectives: ‘Why Reputation Matters? Disinformation, Online Advertisement and Private Companies’

The Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) periodically provides the “PSSI Perspectives” on selected security-related topics, including breaking developments affecting Czech and regional security, Chinese and Russian business transactions or projects of strategic and/or security concern, and the attraction of U.S. and European capital and investments by corporate “bad actors” of adversary states.

In its sixth PSSI Perspective, “Why Reputation Matters? Disinformation, online advertisement and private companies, Vanessa Maderová, Project Assistant at PSSI, analyses why private companies should care if their online advertisements appear on websites spreading disinformation.

Some key highlights:

  • According to a study by the Global Disinformation Index, around 20,000 disinformation websites generate annually an estimated 213 million euros in revenues solely from online advertising.
  • In the Czech Republic alone, PSSI has determined that disinformation websites earn some 190,000 CZK
  • Two-thirds of the overall spending on digital advertising in 2019 (totaling some 76 billion euros) was channeled into the so-called “programmatic advertising”. As Vanessa Maderová explains, these ads are not necessarily placed on specific websites, but follow individual consumers wherever they go and as a result, many advertisers find their ads on sites spreading disinformation, enabling them to thrive and profit.
  • A 2019 study by the Ministry of Internal Affairs revealed that 52 % of Czechs consider disinformation a serious issue.
  • There is a need for establishing effective partnerships between the civic society and the private sector. NGOs need to facilitate open discussion between companies, consumers and marketing agencies and point out the importance of incorporating non-advertising on disinformation sites.
  • Companies must carefully pursue their socially responsible image.

You can read the sixth PSSI Perspective, Why Reputation Matters? Disinformation, online advertisement and private companies, here.

About Prague Security Studies Institute’s next PSSI Perspective

The Prague Security Studies Institute’s next PSSI Perspective looks at the nexus of disinformation and online advertising. As an educational, research and analytical public policy Institution, PSSI is committed to enriching – and shaping – the Transatlantic security policy debate, especially in more underdeveloped issue portfolios, like the Economic and Financial (E&F) Threat Domain and Space Security, areas in which PSSI enjoys a global leadership position in the NGO community. The Institute also has a long history of tracking several regional security issues.