Taboola pledges $500K in free ads to women-owned businesses

Dive Brief:

  • Digital advertising company Taboola today is celebrating International Women’s Day with the launch of a campaign that will offer $500,000 in free ads to women-owned businesses. The #RecommendHER effort is a global initiative that will run during Women’s History Month for the remainder of March, per an announcement.
  • The advertisements for selected women-owned businesses will appear across Taboola’s network, which feeds content to more than 9,000 publisher websites. Over 13,000 advertisers use Taboola to reach 516 million daily active users among those digital properties.
  • Taboola’s effort to support women-owned businesses was inspired by data indicating that 6.2% of women worldwide own a business that has operated for more than three years, compared with 9.5% of men. During the COVID-19 pandemic, female job-loss rates have been 1.8 times higher than for men, per data cited by Taboola.

Dive Insight:

Taboola’s offer of $500,000 in free advertising to women-owned businesses aims to generate good will among consumers and those business owners amid the celebrations for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The company is known for providing feeds of “clickbait” articles on publisher sites with widgets and offer native advertising formats to engage consumers. The free advertising offer this month also can help to introduce its platform to women-owned businesses that may not have run ads on Taboola in the past.

“International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month place an important spotlight on the challenges and inequality that exists in the business world for women,” Adam Singolda, founder and CEO of Taboola, said in the announcement. “It is important for all of us to do more to help women-owned businesses thrive, especially at a time when over 4.6 million women in the U.S. alone have become unemployed and been more negatively affected by the pandemic overall.”

The campaign may help to raise awareness for Taboola as it prepares to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called ION Acquisition during the second quarter of this year. The deal values Taboola at $2.6 billion, CNBC reported. The company had negotiated to merge with rival platform Outbrain in an $850 million deal, but that was called off amid disagreements over how their valuations had changed during the pandemic. In preparation for the SPAC deal, Taboola has touted its strength in reaching consumers through the open web that falls outside the “walled gardens” of Facebook, Google and Amazon.

International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month have become occasions for marketers to show their support for women, a theme that has special resonance as the pandemic has had a disproportionately negative effect on women in the workforce. Among the brands that have launched similar campaigns that urge people to support women-owned businesses is Smirnoff, the Diageo-owned vodka brand that this month began sponsoring a series of virtual workouts and digital happy hours in a collaboration with SideBarre, a Black women-owned small business in Washington, D.C. As part of E.l.f. Cosmetics and Chipotle Mexican Grill’s collaboration on burrito-inspired makeup collection, top marketers of both companies today will discuss the campaign and female empowerment on buzzy audio app Clubhouse.

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