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Are marketers fueling the fake news industry?

If you are an average marketer, you don’t likely feel responsible for the outbreak of fake news over the last few years. Jeff Pundyk thinks you should. Tim Peter and I interviewed Jeff after he published a report from the Society for New Communications Research on marketers’ relationship to fake news.

In the interview, Jeff explained that the rise of programmatic advertising has set the stage for the rise of fake news. Despite all the discussions around how fake news affect public opinion — even election results — Jeff’s point is that it started as a way for fly-by-night publishers to rake in ad revenue, so marketers are actually funding fake news. The study asked marketers if they are worried about fake news, but most are not. They are more concerned about the dangers of ad fraud or brand embarrassment at ads being placed next to controversial content.

Jeff has some ideas for how this will play out that every marketer should be interested in. He doesn’t think marketers can avoid brand responsibility for this state of affairs forever. For more from Jeff Pundyk, check out our interview on how marketers are providing the oxygen for fake news to flourish.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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