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Advertising in news environments
Advertising in news environments has a positive impact on brands, concludes a study conducted by RTL Data on behalf of Ad Alliance.

The study ‘No hard feelings – News as emotional superfood’ explores the effect of advertising in digital news environments on brand perception. Based on an analysis of RTL Deutschland’s news sites and, the study concludes that news sites and advertising in such environments can positively impact brand perception.

Feel the news – feel the brand

World events such as wars, protests or natural disasters that we read or hear about in the news may have a direct or indirect impact on us, potentially evoking strong feelings. Therefore, brands may decide to avoid such environments for their advertising campaigns in fear of jeopardising their brands and the perception around them.

The Ad Alliance study, however, contradicts the reasoning behind this strategy by concluding that news environments have a positive impact on the majority of brand attributes, even in emotionally charged environments. Moreover, well-known brands may even take on an “anchor” role, eliciting feelings of stability and safety.

See the news – see the brand

On news site, advertising conveys an “expert feeling”, highlights the study. According to respondents, Stern is direct, serious and trustworthy, which has an impact on how advertising is perceived on the site. All three brands tested in the study were described by participants as familiar, collaborative, open-minded and relaxed.

One chocolate advert from a confectionary manufacturer, displayed on the home page of a news site, was perceived as calming. Participants reported a feeling of relaxation when seeing the ad between all the negative news and perceived it as a “light at the end of the tunnel”. When embedded in video content, the brand received a high level of attention and served as preparation for the emotional news content that followed. The study concludes: Brands and news are perceived and categorised separately.

Lars-Eric Mann, CMO of Ad Alliance, says: "An independent, accurate and reliable supply of information is the basis for maintaining our democracy and political participation. We take this very seriously at RTL Deutschland, and offer a secure environment for advertising partners thanks to over 1,500 dedicated journalists and intensive fact checking. Our study impressively proves that this security also applies to negative news. Advertising has high visibility in such environments and can even convey positive feelings. This is good news for us, because we will continue to need advertising as a source of funding in the future, in order to be able to inform the population with all our strength."


Oliver Fahlbusch

Executive Vice President Communications & Investor Relations, RTL Group

+352 / 24 86 5200

Irina Mettner-Isfort

Vice President Media & Investor Relations

+49 221 456 56410