Vatican launches Church-approved ads for Catholic websites

An Italian startup is launching a web advertising platform that aims to provide Catholic websites with Catholic-approved advertisements, Religion News Service reported.

The platform, called AdEthic, was presented on Thursday in Rome as part of a Church project to engage in social media.

The platform wants to tap into the vast Catholic online market that has so far been unable or unwilling to use advertisements, said Andrea Salvati, a manager at Google Italy who will take the role of CEO at AdEthic in October.

Rev. Paolo Padrini, who launched the iBreviary prayer app for iPhone last year, observed that many Catholic webmasters are “scared” that inappropriate advertisements will be displayed on their pages.

“We want to offer highly selected, high-quality, controlled advertisement to the Catholic online world,” he said.

Salvati said AdEthic will offer Catholic websites the chance to “monetize” their traffic while supporting charity.

Padrini said part of AdEthic revenues will be used to fund charitable projects.

While there are no firm data on traffic to Catholic websites, Salvati estimates that around one-third of Italy’s 28 million Internet users visit one of them at least once a month.

AdEthic aims to group them together in order to make them a desirable target for advertisers.

AdEthic will start operating in Italy, but aims to eventually expand to other countries.

The advertisement platform is part of Aleteia, a Catholic social network that was launched on Thursday. Both Aleteia and AdEthics are promoted by the Foundation for Evangelization through the Media, a Rome-based Catholic lay organization that aims to promote faith through social media.

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