How did an advertisement for Marion Maréchal’s school end up in a CheckNews article?

An announcement was seen by an Internet user on Sunday, under an article in the CheckNews section of Liberation. The name of the establishment as well as that of Marion Maréchal have now been blocked by the service provider.
Question asked on Twitter on May 1


You ask us about an advertisement for Marion Maréchal’s school spotted by a reader in an article CheckNews, on the site of Release. The ad was seen on Sunday in one of our content about two elected officials from La France insoumise.

“Make a donation for the school of Marion Maréchal”, we read on the advertisement from the Institute of Sciences, Social, Economic and Political (Issep), accompanied by the photo of its Director General. Marine Le Pen’s niece opened Issep in 2018. Based in Lyon, the private higher education establishment aims to train students in “exercising managerial functions in business or public affairs”. As the training provided is not recognized by the State, the institute does not receive any public funding and runs donation campaigns, which are relayed via the use of automated advertising on the web, i.e. without human intervention.

How could this content, incompatible with the line of the newspaper, come to slip into one of our articles?

Passed under two surveillances

On the website and the mobile application of Release, ads seen by unsubscribed visitors are based on automation. For a year, they have been managed by Prisma Media, in a “programmatic” way – a method based on artificial intelligence, with algorithms to determine the best advertising placement.

To guard against certain risks associated with this system, the newspaper and the service provider have created a certain number of “blocklists”. They are set up by advertisers’ sectors of activity. Thus, ads related to politics, pornography or clairvoyance, among others, are prohibited.

According to the provider, interviewed by ReleaseIssep’s advertising has twice passed under the radar of this vigilance.

If the policy cannot be advertised on the Release, the education sector is not part of the “blocklists”. Although it has a political connotation, the Issep fundraising campaign was therefore able to go through the “education” section to be broadcast.

Several “keywords” that may appear in advertisements are also blocked by the service provider, such as “Zemmour” or “Le Pen”. Nevertheless the name of Marion Maréchal did not yet appear in the list. “Since then, his name has been added to the blocklist, as well as that of Issep”explains Christophe Blond, commercial director of Release.

Another clarification, “the ad was not ‘targeted’ for the user who tagged it”, adds Christophe Blond. In the contract signed with the service provider, Release has prohibited the use of readers’ personal data, which prevents any advertising targeting based on data.

Advertising for Marion Marechal’s Issep also hides financial difficulties. An article from World published on March 7, revealed that the Institute is a “economic disaster”. “87.4% of Issep’s turnover is made up of “resources linked to the generosity of the public”, income from students fell in one year by 28.8%, while the expenses of the institute increased by 48.5%. Part of the team is not paid, 2,385 hours in 2021 are voluntary work. Former deputy, Marion Maréchal has since recently announced to withdraw from her duties as president of Issep, because of her involvement in the presidential campaign of Eric Zemmour.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this article for this outstanding material

How did an advertisement for Marion Maréchal’s school end up in a CheckNews article?

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