Is Your Brand Safe?
Apr 17, 2017
Over the past several months the brand safety issue has garnered more and more attention in the media, with more and more brands pulling their digital advertising spend from such media properties like YouTube. Do you know where your advertising is running? What can you the marketer do to protect your brand?
Before digital, brand safety wasn't an issue. You knew where your advertising was running. Now, with digital and the advent of programmatic advertising the advertiser is losing control. So brand safety a non-issue during the traditional media era has become a major issue during the digital media era.
Digital media land is way out of control. In fact, there is no control, like other media / channels. It's the wild, wild west and the bad side of it at that. The old axiom "buyer beware" applies double here. Not only beware of what you are buying, but also beware that you have no control over what you are buying. The big brands can specify location of ads / ad placement in traditional media and the media companies are happy to do it. That is not the case in digital media, especially social media. Part of the problem w/ digital is that digital media companies like Google, Facebook, etc don't see themselves as media companies. Not sure what they see themselves as, but there is no doubt that they are in fact media companies because that is what they are selling advertisers media space to promote their products / services.
Hopefully, this attitude is changing as more and more brands cut their advertising budgets in support of offending media. Of late, there has been some news that some of the giants, Facebook in particular, are taking action to provide more control over ad placement.
But until this problem is solved, brands need to be more proactive...
- Advertise in fewer places.
- Hold agencies accountable for where your ad dollars are spent and ads placed.
- Hold ad providers (media companies, e.g., Google, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) accountable for ad placement.
- Embrace whitelisting and blacklisting something not enough companies do.
- Consider private marketplaces where you know what content your ads are going to appear in support of.
- Don't make assumptions when it comes to social platforms. They are in the business of selling ad space, not protecting your brand and until recently, they didn't even give lip service to the idea of protecting your brand.
- Proactively police your marketing campaigns. Don't place the media buys and then forget all about them. Validate on a regular basis where your ads are appearing.
More on the "Is Your Brand Safe" discussion:
- The Story Behind Fakes News Sites and Their Impact On Brand Safety
- Will YouTube's troubles impact social spending?
- Google Faces Pressure to Reduce Ad Rates
- Brand, Ad Safety Issues Spread From Google To Social Media Platforms
- Programmatic advertising is running amuck - Clearly our technology's ability to target has outstripped our ability to control it. And while it remains to be seen what controls will be put in place, it's likely that, as always, target marketing won't be perfect (click for more).
- YouTube creators lose income over brand safety discussion w/ brands pulling advertising – who gives a shit. They would never have made income in the past in old media, they would never have gotten published (click for more).
- AT&T, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and other major U.S. companies are pulling their advertisements from Google and Google's YouTube video portal over issues with the platforms' brand safety assurances, according to USA Today and a number of other media outlets (click for more).
- Brand safety is all the rage, but in a recent campaign that ad analytics firm Adyapper was paid to analyze, it found that its client's ads appeared on porn, fake news and file-sharing websites that the advertiser's buying platform believed it was blocking (click for more).
Dudley Stevenson, founder and CEO of DWS Associates, has over thirty-five years’ experience in consumer marketing, business-to-business marketing, and direct marketing, including developing, planning, and implementing go-to-market strategies. He's also the author of "Marketing Direct: Breaking Through The Clutter." Working with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, he and his team have helped clients such as IBM, Sony, Neiman Marcus, Arizona Highways, Marshall Field & Co., Mrs. Field’s, UNICEF, and Patagonia implement successful direct marketing programs. A longtime member of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association, Stevenson is also a sought-after speaker. He’s given hundreds of presentations and workshops on marketing and direct marketing. His “Marketing Planning 101” workshop alone has reached more than 100,000 marketing and sales professionals.