January 30, 2017 Last Updated 3:39 pm

Head of IAB, Randall Rothenberg, calls on industry to ‘repair the trust’ to combat ‘fake news’

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – January 30, 2017 — IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) President and CEO Randall Rothenberg opened the second day of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, focused on the theme “Publishers & Platforms: What’s Next?,” with a rousing speech calling for the industry to rid the digital marketing and media supply chain of “fake news” and restore the trust that is essential for a thriving democracy and a free market.

“If you do not seek to address fake news and the systems, processes, technologies, transactions, and relationships that allow it to flourish, then you are consciously abdicating responsibility for its outcome—the depletion of the truth and trust that undergird democratic capitalism,” added Rothenberg.

As an industry, it is our obligation to again step up. But this time, our goal cannot be merely to fix our supply chain. Our objective isn’t to preserve marketing and advertising. When all information becomes suspect – when it’s not just an ad impression that may be fraudulent, but the data, news, and science that undergird society itself – then we must take civic responsibility for our effect on the world.

Rothenberg said that “eliminating fakery, fraudulence, and criminality from the digital ecosystem is the responsibility of all doing business within it.” He reinforced that the digital media and marketing is at the center of an epochal shift influencing how citizens perceive and participate in the world around them. The industry must realize, as a whole and as individuals, that “their civic responsibilities overlap with their business obligations.”

Rothenberg delivered this fiery address to over 1,000 executives—publishers, brand marketers, media buyers, and ad tech leaders—as they explored the roles of premium content and platforms in the changing media landscape during the three-day industry conference.

Rothenberg’s entire speech is available at iab.com/repairthetrust.

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