A few days after "Globes" reported that the Likud was behind the negative campaign designed to besmirch Benny Gantz, Israeli content recommendation companies Taboola and Outbrain are beefing up their rules against negative advertising. Sources inform "Globes" that advertisers and media consultants currently involved in political campaigns were informed that the two platforms would not allow negative items. The sole option open to political parties seeking to use the platforms for political campaigns is positive reports about their candidates.
Senior media sector figures said that the rules were tantamount to ruling out political campaigns through Taboola and Outbrain. The two platforms use other media, mainly articles. It is rare to find content of this kind with a positive headline and which is suitable for use in promoting a candidate. A senior industry source said off the record, "Ostensibly, a positive campaign can be mounted, but it makes much less of an impact. There are few stories praising a candidate or his or her actions. The platforms may not say so, but what it amounts to is shutting down political advertising."
At least for the record, Taboola and Outbrain oppose negative campaigns even at ordinary times, including commercial campaigns. It is nevertheless hard to ignore recent campaigns that slandered competitors. It is hard to prove in practice, but media figures told "Globes off the record that they had taken part in campaigns of this type.
What changed the policy of Taboola and Outbrain and led them to tighten up their supervision of the rules was the exposure in "Globes," which presented convincing proof of a connection between the stories slandering Gantz and Likud media personnel. The stories revealed were through Taboola's system, but a campaign also took place simultaneously on Outbrain. Both platforms immediately removed the campaign.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 18, 2019
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