Brand safety is one of those hot industry topics that isn’t going away anytime soon. So what is it?
It’s all about keeping a brand’s reputation safe when it advertises online. That means avoiding the placement of ads next to inappropriate or offensive content. On platforms dominated by unmonitored user-generated content, brand safety is never guaranteed. Ditto ads relying on automated placement.
So that’s what brand safety is but why should you care? According to Magna’s The Brand Safety Effect study, ads appearing near negative content result in a 2.8 times reduction in intent to associate with these brands. We can all agree, that’s something to be avoided. One way to do that is to give risky environments a wide berth in the first place. Brands – and their hard-working agencies – do this by creating white and blacklists. Whitelists breakdown the keywords and terms brands are comfortable with having their ads associated with while blacklists are topics to avoid. Seems simple but actually, it can be rather complicated and knocking out any word a brand sees as negative could actually have a negative effect on the brand. For example, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, brands that blocked terms associated with the virus drastically reduced their opportunity to connect with consumers who were hungry for COVID-related information. It’s a delicate dance and not one you can afford to rush.