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An Advertiser’s Guide To Programmatic Brand Safety


No Brand would like to associate with the content that makes them or has the potential to make them look bad in any way. For years, the issue that the ad industry has faced and continues to face is to associate the ads with relevant content or to put it precisely – to dissociate an ad with irrelevant content. Every brand desires to maintain its brand image while advertising and don’t want to associate themselves to content which is extremist.

The notorious recent YouTube brand-safety scandal resulted in advertisers’ boycott. However, this boycott is not limited to YouTube; many brands have also stopped advertising on Google’s extensive display ad network that places ads on over two million websites. This has resulted in a cumulative need for ensuring Brand Safety. Since the money at stake is huge, it is crucial to understand the importance of brand safety. Ad spending in the Digital Advertising market amounts to US$2,576m in 2020, which is a rise of 17.5% YOY (Source Statista).

The good news is that many surveys and studies are undertaken to understand the causes and solutions for Brand Safety. The audit bureaus and online giants are taking measures to make the ads safer. This works in two parts. First, reduce the objectionable content. Second, increase transparency and brand controls.

In the meanwhile, Programmatic advertising helps in ensuring brand-safe ad placements. Here is a list of some measures you can follow craft an advertisement based on the current scenario.:

Limiting Advertisements

Limiting Advertisements Advertisers can pre-approve the websites/platforms that give optimum output and are coherent to their brand specifications. Use Private Marketplace (PMP) Deals which can be carried out on the brand-safe websites.

Extensive use of Whitelist and Blacklists

Extensive use of Whitelist and Blacklists Advertisers must make conscious and regular use of whitelists and blacklists. A blacklist is a list of all publishers who are not allowed to access (i.e. list of denied accesses). A whitelist is the opposite, which means no one except members of the whitelist, will be allowed access. Companies can form a database of websites marking them as whitelist, neutral and blacklist on websites and apps. Advertisers should have an account level blacklist ready.

Brand Safety Partners

Brand Safety Partners Advertisers should partner-up with trusted programmatic platforms providers, which can provide accountability and safety of the brand image. Many platforms, Vertoz being one of them, have brand-safety partners that help ensure that the ad placements are brand-safe. All the ad strategies should be designed to adhere to the specifications provided by the advertiser. The ad-agencies should also make sure that any associated third-party agency or freelancers working on the brand’s content should strictly follow these specifications.
In addition, advertisers should be willing to hold publishers accountable for not doing enough to monitor their ad policies and content.

Closely monitor campaigns

Closely monitor campaigns Ultimately, there is no substitute for proactive human monitoring of the ads. Advertisers should have their ongoing ads monitored by a human. And they should be ready to take strict actions when they find that their ads are not where they should be. That being said, that all parties in the ecosystem bear some responsibility and need to play active roles in ensuring brand safety.

At Vertoz, our brand safety mechanisms and third-party brand-safety partners ensure that the ads are not placed alongside undesirable content that can harm the advertiser’s brand image. With us, you can rest assured about your brand image being in safe hands. To know more about our platform, click the button below!

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