VATICAN CITY — An Italian startup is launching a web advertising platform that aims to provide Catholic websites with Catholic-approved advertisements.
The platform, called AdEthic, will be presented on Thursday (Sept. 20) at a press conference in Rome, as part of a wider Catholic project to engage in social media.
According to Andrea Salvati, a manager at Google Italy who will take the role of CEO at AdEthic in October, the platform wants to tap into the vast Catholic online market that has so far been unable or unwilling to use advertisements.
Many Catholic webmasters are "scared" that inappropriate advertisements, such as sexually related content or messages from "bogus religious groups," will be displayed on their pages by context-sensitive automatic ad generators such as Google's AdSense, said the Rev. Paolo Padrini, an Internet-savvy priest.
Padrini, who launched the iBreviary prayer app for iPhone last year, will head the ethics committee that will ensure the Catholic values of the platform's ad partners.
"We want to offer highly selected, high-quality, controlled advertisement to the Catholic online world," he said.