General Mills fights AI deepfakes on TikTok, Facebook and YouTube

General Mills is using its partnership with Zefr to hold social media companies accountable if they don’t keep misinformation in check. “No misinformation is the standard,” Roebuck said. “We know that, entering the digital space, there always is going to be a level of risk.”

General Mills works with Mindshare, the global media agency within GroupM. Brands are worried about misinformation, in general, but there also are direct threats to the brands, where people on social media are posting misinformation about their products. There have been high-profile cases of top brands becoming the center of social media storms based on faulty information.

One such case: In 2020, Wayfair was the target of far-out, baseless conspiracy theories involving human trafficking, which circulated on social media. More recently, oat milk brand Oatly has pushed back against what it deems misinformation about its ingredients, and the company made fact-checking a centerpiece of its marketing. McDonald’s has combatted misinformation about its ingredients for years, refuting persistent talk of “pink slime,” which stems from the way McDonald’s used to make hamburgers but doesn’t anymore, according to an AP fact-checking article last year. Coca-Cola has dispelled myths about cocaine ever being an ingredient in its soft drink.

Brands are worried about “the reputational risk of brand association with misinformation and the social and political risk of bad actors controlling the narrative,” said Joe Barone, managing partner, brand safety Americas, GroupM.