One company’s scandal is another company’s pitch material.
Even though objectionable content has been on Google-owned YouTube for many years, opportunism and the political climate have driven brands to pull their ads from the video platform out of concern of appearing next to objectionable content. The pullouts started in the U.K. after the Times of London published an exposé about YouTube ads appearing against racist videos, and furor extended into the U.S. when brands like AT&T and Verizon smelled blood in the water and pulled their YouTube campaigns.
Since the YouTube saga is a hot topic right now, ad tech vendors are using it as a hook when they pitch clients their products.
“A few different tech platforms reached out and indicated it may be a good time to reconsider them in light of the Google situation,” said an anonymous ad buyer.
David Lee, programmatic lead at The Richards Group, said that over the past two weeks, he has received “at least 10 pitches” from various ad tech vendors who lead their pitch with stories about brands pulling out of YouTube before delving into the product they’re selling. For comparison sake, a few months ago, Lee got two to three pitches about brand safety every few weeks. Rob Griffin, chief innovation officer at Almighty, added that the brand-safety pitches he receives have recently changed their tone “by taking advantage of current negative news.”
The vendors sending buyers these pitches range from demand-side platforms and exchanges who say their inventory is cleaner than Google’s to brand-safety vendors who claim their tools will help advertisers avoid extreme content on Google’s platforms.
“With this conversation elevated to the forefront, it is creating the right environment for us to educate brands and agencies on how to protect their interests,” said Mike Caprio, general manager of programmatic of Sizmek, an ad tech company that sells brand-safety tools. “It is not like we say, ‘Oh my God, look at YouTube! You need to use [Sizmek-owned] Peer39.’ It is more to elevate the discussion to say, ‘Hey, you want to use the tools that you can best protect yourself with.’”
Capitalizing on a buzzy snafu is nothing new for ad tech. As measurement errors plagued Facebook last year, measurement vendors became more in demand. And when fake news became news in its own right, vendors responded by developing new products that blocked ads from fake-news websites.
Although one source described capitalizing on YouTube’s misfortunes as “vultureish,” others said that these vendors are simply making smart pitches in an environment where advertisers are anxious about appearing next to extreme content and brand-safety products are in demand.
“It is not a slimy tactic,” Lee said. “It is a well-timed sales tactic.”
An ad tech exec speaking on the condition of anonymity said that is in the best interests of vendors to highlight their products while a dominant player like Google is getting beat up in the press.
“Google is the best in the business, and if they can’t get it right, there’s no way these other smaller companies are anywhere close,” he said. “But it is a great opportunity to take advantage of. Why would any business selling brand-safety protection not do so? It’s silly to think of it as anything but a good business move.”
Why HelloFresh struck an ad deal with StreamElements to reach the gaming community
StreamElements’ plug-and-play interface creates a lighter lift for brands looking to reach the gaming community, eschewing the protracted negotiations and production time that can come along with brand partnerships with prominent individual streamers.
What these latest consumer affinity trends tell us about marketing in 2023
Video views could guide marketers on where consumers will shop after watching content on social networks.
Sam’s Club wants to ‘broaden awareness’ in cinemas with a faux-movie trailer starring Kevin Hart
For the holiday season, Sam's Club has teamed up with Kevin Hart to help launch its ad featuring a movie trailer style and is hoping to connect with moviegoers by boosting brand awareness for the holiday season.
SponsoredPublishers are adapting advertising strategies for a privacy-first world
Tina Iannacchino, senior publisher director, Seedtag So much of the attention around the death of third-party cookies and its impact on the digital advertising industry is focused on the implications for brands and consumers, which is far from the complete picture. The digital publishing industry in the U.S. is massive and set to be shaken […]
Why YouTube’s focus on competing with streamers may have hurt the platform as brands focus on TikTok
As competition continues to heat up in the digital video and content creation space with TikTok, Instagram and the recent addition of social app BeReal, YouTube may be feeling that heat more and more.
Dentsu’s new global gaming lead reflects on gaming strategy ‘void’ in advertising, media
Despite the rapid rise of gaming in recent years — or perhaps because of it — many brands and marketers are still confused about how to best reach the gaming community. Dentsu's new global gaming lead Brent Koning is equipped to navigate these uncertain waters.