The state of brand safety in 5 charts
Thanks to digital skullduggery, brand safety remains hotter than the devil’s anvil.
From the stump speeches of Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard to the role of ad tech in funding misleading content to YouTube’s multiple ad scandals, the perils of digital media buying were on full display throughout 2017. Here are five charts that summarize the state of brand safety.
Brands claim responsibility
Whether you’re examining brand safety, fraud or data leakage, there’s plenty of blame to go around the complex ad-supply chain whenever a snafu arises. But brands have more to lose than others if their ads appear next to questionable content.
A survey of 30 brand marketers by Digiday+ showed that brands place more responsibility on themselves than on agencies, vendors or publishers, when it comes to maintaining brand safety. Marc Goldberg, CEO of anti-ad fraud vendor Trust Metrics, said brand advertisers should be leading the conversation on brand safety because if they don’t care about it, nobody else will.
YouTube’s brand pullouts
In March, brands like AT&T and Verizon took their ads off YouTube after The Times of London published an exposé that showed brand ads appearing in videos that promoted terrorism. Although most of the brands that pulled their ads from YouTube were back on the platform within a few months, posturing surrounding this event catapulted brand safety into elite buzzword territory.
The concept of brand safety has been around for years, but as seen in the Google Trends graph below, searches for brand safety peaked in March.
Violent content is widespread
From drugs to piracy to sex, there is a lot of content on the internet that advertisers try to distance themselves from. Violence is the category that ad-verification company Integral Ad Science blocks, most often for brand-safety reasons, for its advertiser clients.
Travis Lusk, vp of global sales strategy at IAS, said advertisers aren’t necessarily more sensitive to violence in content than they are to sex content or illegal downloads. Compared to other touchy topics, there just happens to be more content across the web that gets categorized as violent.
In November, video ad platform Teads surveyed 100 CMOs and vps at large brands about brand safety. Nearly 80 percent of them said they are more concerned about brand safety than ever before.
About half of the survey respondents said they had reviewed their agency and vendor contracts over the past year. More than a third said they layered on more third-party ad measurement to their campaigns.
“Marketers are stepping up to take control over the way their money is spent,” said Forrester analyst Susan Bidel.
IAS found that across display and video for both mobile and desktop, programmatic buys have a greater likelihood of exposing brands to unsafe content than direct buys. This makes sense, given that with direct deals, brands know who they are working with. Programmatic platforms, on the other hand, are engineered to bring ads to thousands of publishers simultaneously, and the long-tail sites featured on these platforms offer cheap scale at the price of appearing next to low-quality or sensational content.
As Pritchard noted in a recent interview with Digiday: “We’ve still got to do work on brand safety.”
‘More dollars to experiential’: Why Walmart is still using experiential marketing to pitch Walmart+ — even during coronavirus crisis
The company is working with influencers and media partners to bring some of the missed “special moments” that had been canceled throughout 2020 to life.
Member Exclusive‘Don’t have the luxury of doing good’: The age of dissonance continues at this year’s ANAs — and beyond
When there’s an on-going global pandemic that’s crippling whole brand categories, it was hard to hear the CMOs speaking at the ANAs.
Twitch emerges as rising platform for beauty brands
Twitch’s over 17.5 million daily active users are gaining growing attention from companies well beyond the traditional gaming world.
SponsoredPublishers must strengthen their relationships with brands and customers
Zara Erismann, MD Publisher EU, LiveRamp In today’s market of tightening data regulations — and with the end of third-party cookies now around the corner — it is critical that publishers focus on optimizing their data strategies to ensure and strengthen close relationships with their audience. In a recent report, The State of Publishing: Monetizing […]
‘Show we’re listening’: Why agencies are lending office furniture, offering WiFi stipends to employees as new pandemic-era perks
With a hybrid reality in the offing, rethinking perks to include ways to make working from home better for employees has become a focus for leaders.
‘Shopping patterns will feel longer and flatter’: Gap’s CMO on preparing for holiday campaigns
Mary Alderete on the upended marketing calendar and Gap’s plans to lean into the extended holiday season this year.