- 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 research released today by Advertiser Perceptions and Oath that was made available to Marketing Dive.
- In the survey of more than 300 advertising decision-makers, 94% said they are worried about brand safety, and 58% are more concerned this year than last year. Seventy percent say tech platforms, like demand-side platforms and exchanges, are addressing their brand safety concerns.
- Advertisers are taking a variety of actions to respond to brand safety, with 50% putting pressure on partners to screen for brand safety, 47% implementing third-party technologies, 45% shifting their ad spend to premium sites to stay safe, 44% blacklisting programmatic partners, 40% using whitelists with programmatic partners and 29% enabling more granular site targeting.
The new Oath study adds to the research highlighting marketers’ concerns over brand safety, and goes a step further in pinning down how marketers are changing their programmatic buying strategies to address brand safety. In a study by GumGum and Custom released in January, 75% of companies said they were exposed to brand safety issues, but only 26% had taken some kind of action. As brand safety becomes a broader issue, marketers seem to be taking more steps to address the issue, as the Oath study found than only 3% had no actions planned to tackle brand safety.
Publishers have been implementing solutions, like keyword detection, ads.txt and site blacklisting, to help advertisers feel more at ease with their digital ad placement. Google, for example, has placed more stringent vetting requirements on its YouTube Partner Program channels, including manually reviewing channels, to prevent risky automated ad placements. But, the Oath study shows that social media platforms and user-generated sites have a long way to go in addressing brand safety.
Repeated reports of brands' ads appearing next to objectionable content have cast a spotlight on brand safety, but programmatic ad spend has continued to grow. Programmatic is attractive to marketers because of its automation and efficiency, but many have wrangled with not having full control over where ads appear. Nearly two-thirds of all digital display ads are projected to be programmatic by 2019, with revenue reaching $84.9 billion, Publicis Groupe Zenith forecasts.
Realizing the value that programmatic ad buys provide, marketers continue to shift their strategies to address brand safety. Sixty-five percent of marketers that purchase digital ads programmatically report either having moved the functions in-house or plans to do so, according to recent IAB research. Trade group 4A’s is also addressing the issue with the new Advertising Protection Bureau, where agencies will share the responsibility of creating a community that protects brands and consumers.