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Unilever to achieve ‘trusted publishers’ digital advertising

LONDON (Reuters) – Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, choose a network of trusted publishers” with which to spend most of its marketing budget, in its latest attempt to improve the effectiveness of digital advertising.

FILE PHOTO: Unilever head office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, August 21, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

The initiative of the consumer goods giant, announced on Thursday, focused on giving the maker of Dove soap and Hellmann’s mayonnaise have more control and insight into where the ads are placed, in the hope of reducing ad fraud and improve the brand of the safety and the quality of the online traffic.

The company declined to say what digital publishers could be included.

“We are first of all going out with our approach, and then we will start with publishers,” Keith Weed, Unilever’s soon to retire chief marketing officer, told Reuters in an interview.

“I think in some ways, this will be a good standard in the market for expectations about what an advertiser such as Unilever for the inception of the publishers.”

Major brands have in the past 10 years has shifted large amounts of their ad spending budgets online, away from newspapers and radio, to reach consumers.

But in recent years, large companies have questioned whether the spending is effective, if data is to be provided by tech giants such as Facebook proved to be unreliable and unscrupulous players use computer controlled bots to inflate ratings.

Weed has spoken about the need to clean up advertising on the Internet, last year the pledge to attract investment from digital platforms, which is not to tackle issues such as toxic content and fake news, and cut ties with digital media “influencers” who buy followers.

Weed said that since June, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have been removed, approximately 1.6 billion fake accounts on their platforms.

Weed plans to retire next month after 36 years with Unilever, the last nine of which were overseeing Unilever’s marketing strategy. His successor is not yet appointed.

Writing by Martinne Geller; editing by David Evans

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