Brand Safety – Need of the Hour?

Posted on Jul 22, 2018
By Gaurav Aidasani

Would you buy a car if you saw its ad on a website that talks about severe accidents or travel by an airline if you saw its ad on a website that emphasizes on airline crash videos? There are many who wouldn’t. This negative response from customers is a real matter of concern for advertisers, which gives rise to one of the leading concerns today, known as Brand Safety. It’s been an issue for several years now but viewers today are hyper-aware of suspicious content as fake, artificial news has damaged the public’s trust.  

What is brand safety:  
According to MOATBrand safety is

- A set of strategies and tools that marketers can employ to protect their brand from appearing in inappropriate environments

A brand’s mere presence could erode brand equity and consumer trust. Since most ads these days are linked to dubious content, brand safety ensures ads always feature appropriate content and are positioned in the best light. 

Why do advertisers use it?  

An article in Marketing Tech News using internal data found that approximately 10-12% of URL’s are recognized as unsafe because they include content that is adult, violent or inappropriate. A non-brand safe environment can significantly impact the brand’s reputation and integrity. 80% marketers have started taking steps to improve brand safety to ensure a brand-safe, fraud-free environment. Whitelisting, preferred site placement, and more hands-on management of ad placement are a few steps that will lead to efficient brand safety.  

Challenges and steps taken to overcome them as listed down by MOAT

Blacklists aren’t enough for scalable and smart brand safety as they can only go so far. The same, valuable domain can contain both safe and unsafe content. Technology needs to be able to categorize the content of a page or video. 

MOAT suggests refining brand safety with contextual data 

Identifying fake news requires human judgement as it relies on skill that most marketers and technology partners don’t have. 

MOAT suggests relying on skilled experts to identify fake news 

The industry needs transparency into brand safety performanceContinued brand safety can only exist with transparent metrics that track whether a brand appeared next to inappropriate content.  

MOAT suggests defining brand safety for your brand as it’s very subjective and prioritizing brand safety measurement.  

Scrutinizing content and ensuring it’s been vetted properly is essential as a brand-safe environment positively impacts audience quality, brand equity and brand loyalty. It helps in effective utilization of ad budgets and makes them more effective if run alongside premium content.