Activists are using ads to sneak real news to Russians about Ukraine

Many advertising “news and media websites” are run by the Ukraine war, while other “social media agencies” are run by Safe Ukraine. It includes emotional videos of captured Russian soldiers, with their parents called home in tears to reveal the reality of what the war is like, with texts urging Russians to speak out against the war. The project is run by Bohdana, 33, of the northwestern Ukrainian city of Lutsk, who refused to share her surname.

Another grassroots campaign has been organized by the Ukrainian Arm of the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). “We try to provide more information about the real situation, because Russia has very strict control over the information, and there is no independent media,” says IAB Ukraine’s chief executive Anastasia Byadachenko.

Until the first week of the war, the Ukrainian advertising industry’s campaigns were largely based on Google’s advertising network જોકે although it recently hit the buffer with a request from Russia’s state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, to stop spreading what Russia considers “inaccurate information” about it. . Activities in Russia. On March 4, Google granted the request, temporarily suspending the ability to book ads in Russia. The situation is developing rapidly, the company said in a statement.

That action has ruined some of the IAB-backed group’s plans. However, Bydachenko claims that Roscommonadzor’s decision to crack down on advertising is a sign of the effectiveness of the IAB campaign.

The campaign, in which a large number of different accounts spent a small amount with Google to target a demographic that could include mothers of Russian soldiers, will now port to Yandex. “We understand that the use of Yandex is more risky because of its control,” she says. “That’s why it’s a long shot – but we’ll try to reach out to our messages.”

Bydachenko says there are about four or five other Ukrainian initiatives in the first days of the war, run by independently established groups. “We are all trying to reach the Russian audience with different messages,” she says.

The IAB campaign is funded by private companies as well as donors and sponsors who are willing to spend large sums of money to try to overcome the horrors of what is happening in Ukraine at the hands of Vladimir Putin’s army. “Owners of Ukrainian businesses understand that we have a crisis here,” says Bydachenko. “They are willing to spend $ 10,000, $ 20,000, $ 30,000, or $ 50,000 to communicate and bring information to Russia.”

Overall, Bydachenko estimates that 10 million hryvnia ($ 330,000) has been spent on Ukraine-based advertising campaigns in Russia over the past week, seeking more honest information. It’s all about Agnes Venema, the National Security and Intelligence Academy at the University of Malta, called the “2022 edition of the underground newspaper.” “People have found that they can defeat Putin in his own game by confronting misinformation in a way that allows any Russian to watch with an Internet connection,” she says.

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