- About four in 10 brands cop to having delivered ads on unsafe websites, according to new research by Sizmek reported in The Drum. Sizmek surveyed 500 brand-side marketers in the U.S. and Europe for the study.
- Most respondents at 85% said improving brand safety in their digital campaigns is a priority, but 64% are finding it difficult to implement an effective strategy. Sixty-four percent said achieving brand safety can negatively impact how quickly a campaign optimizes. Additionally, 61% said they were using a third-party solution to manage their digital presence but 57% said their solutions are too expensive.
- Other findings include that 64% of marketers are focused on reducing the number of vendors in their supply chain, and 76% are striving for more transparency for digital display inventory in the quest for brand safety. Sixty-three percent said that "walled gardens" don't allow for enough transparency into inventory. The General Data Protection Regulation is further complicating the situation for marketers, with 77% stating that the rules will make it more difficult to target audiences with third-party data.
Brand safety has long been a topic of industry conversation, but rising concerns around fake news and fraud, along with several controversies tied to major advertising platforms like Google's YouTube, have put it at the forefront over the past couple of years. However, the Sizmek findings show that, while many marketers might make a show of hand-wringing over brand safety, more players in the industry need to make moves to concretely address the matter and ensure their ads are not appearing on inflammatory websites and content.
Some agencies are working harder to tackle the issue, establishing new roles like brand-safety officer, per a report in Digiday. Marketers are internally addressing brand safety in number of ways as well, including by using more demand-side platforms and exchanges, embracing third-party technologies, putting pressure on publishing partners and shifting more of their ad spending to premium sites.
The conversation isn't a one-way street, either. Forty-five percent of advertisers say social media platforms are doing a bad job on brand safety, and 42% say user-generated content sites are not addressing their concerns about brand safety, according to recent research by Advertiser Perceptions and Oath. Publishers are also adopting measure like keyword detection, ads.txt and site blacklisting to help marketers feel more secure in their digital ad placement.
A Gum Gum and Custom study released in January revealed that three-quarters of companies said they had been exposed to brand safety issues in the past year. The study found that just 26% had taken some type of action to mitigate the situation even though most of those surveyed took the threat seriously.