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Czech bank pulls advertising from disinformation websites, costing them revenue

18.12.2016 21:00
A branch of Česká spořitelna bank in Benátky nad Jizerou, Czech Republic.
A branch of Česká spořitelna bank in Benátky nad Jizerou, Czech Republic.

The Česká spořitelna bank has pulled its advertising from the disinformation websites that have been regularly leading their readers astray or very frequently distorting the information they report. Those news servers have now lost that advertising revenue.

The bank is following the example of the James Cook Languages school, which was the first to decide to pull its advertising from the Czech-language sites in May. "We have existed for our clients for almost 200 years, and we have always been a reliable advisor to them in the area of finance. We also believe it is our responsibility to society to look beyond the limits of the banking world, and that we can serve people as a compass that will safely guide them through the sea of media information. That is why it is unacceptable for us to support these sources of information that is not just unsubstantiated, but sometimes even intentionally deceptive. For this reason, our advertising will not appear on disinformation websites. However, we do not deny anybody else's right to access information from the sources they consider appropriate. We appreciate the fact that the European Values think-tank is dedicating its attention to this area and has publicized this problem," said Kristýna Havligerová, press spokesperson for Česká spořitelná.

According to a survey published by the European Values (Evropské hodnoty) think-tank, from 18-23 June 2016 the advertisemnts of 75 firms appeared on disinformation websites in the Czech Republic. They included big, well-known firms such as Amazon, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Nestlé, Seznam.cz and Škoda.

The complete list of the advertisements is included in the think-tank's analysis of advertising on disinformation websites. An advertisement for Česká spořitelna, according to that analysis, appeared during June on seven disinformation websites such as AC24, Czech Free Press and "Patriotic News" (Vlastenecké noviny).

"Frequently a given company is unaware it even made the move to advertise on such a website. If a Czech company advertises on these websites, it is de facto directly financing their activities, which include the systematic production of conspiracy theories and disinformation. This phenomenon then poisons and pollutes the public space and damages opportunities for a decent public debate based on facts," said Jakub Janda, deputy director of European Values.

th, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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banka, Česká spořitelna, Dezinformační web, Reklama



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