Brands want to be associated with content that makes them look good, that is contextually relevant, and creates a better impact for the consumer. Yet, how can they ensure that their content falls within brand safety guidelines?

Brand Safe Content has become a hot topic among the digital advertising communities in wake of the controversies plaguing platforms like YouTube & Google. Due to being placed against extreme and controversial content, advertisers like AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, and P&G began pulling their ads from the digital media system. More and more companies are looking towards new safety measures that will preserve the image of their brand.

There is great concern for brand safety with 75 percent of brands reporting at least one brand-unsafe exposure in the past year. There could be multiple consequences for brands should their ads appear before unsafe content such as brand confusion, social media backlash, damage to one’s reputation, and even loss of revenue in some cases. About 32 percent of brands and advertising agencies have battled with video content that has been flagged as unsafe.

The main brand safety concerns cited by brands revolved around content that displayed hate speech, fake news, pornography, divisive politics, and violence.
This new issue has put a spotlight on the issues surrounding current programmatic ad technologies and the need for greater transparency.

Platforms are also struggling to satisfy brands and advertising interests, while also carefully watching their user generated content. According to a joint study by Digiday Media and GumGum, Facebook was found to be the least safe platform for brands, while LinkedIn was declared the most safe.

The digital advertising industry now seems to have begun quickly adapting new measures and practices in order to meet the concerns of brands. More transparency with programmatic advertising and better innovations to Blockchain have improved some of the problems with ad placement.

However, the best practice to ensure ads are being placed against appropriate content is to have a direct relationship with multi platform video publishers.
59 percent of publishers say that this is the best method to properly place an ad with relevant content. Sales teams can be clear about the content they produce to interested brands and advertisers, while methods like keyword and category tagging are used to guarantee appropriate placement. Many publishers also have their own supply chain of partnered sites to eliminate the risk of ads being in contact with inappropriate content.

While some worry that this approach could mean a loss of reach and impressions, brand safety has been noted as a greater priority. Damage to brands effects all those involved in the digital media industry and working more closely together will help guarantee effective marketing campaigns.