What Is Brand Safety And The Current Need For It In Protecting Brands?

What Is Brand Safety And The Current Need For It In Protecting Brands?

In the complex landscape of advertising, brand safety has become a pivotal and crucial issue to solve.

Large advertising agencies and publishers are working in tandem to help global brands solve brand safety-related issues. Brand Safety can be defined as a set of measures to protect brands and advertisers from harmful content on a publisher’s site where impressions are being served on.

AdExchanger had previously published an article stating that McDonald’s, Nestle, and Disney had stopped advertising on YouTube due to the adultery involved in the comments section of those specific ads. Recently, in an article on the Exchange Wire, the concerns about brand safety in a privacy-first era were highlighted. With the rise of OTT and CTV issues of brand safety have never been this important. Contextual targeting is one of the possible ways to tackle brand safety issues.

Pre-roll ads were being associated with content that was inappropriate in nature. This caused the major brands and ad agencies to step in to have a dialogue with YouTube and their programmatic team. Large data providers contend with brand safety issues by involving a human element in the loop. Usually, the human involved will decipher the content and the safety of the video that would then help serve the right type of advertisements to the audience.

This applied method can lead to errors as humans unlike a machine learning algorithm are bound to make mistakes. Campaigns that have a large sales cycle can be rendered useless if inappropriate content is showcased to the wrong audience.

The issue of brand safety gets complicated as different devices, DMP (Data Management Platforms), and buying platforms are involved. Advertisers along with brands are constantly working to mitigate brand safety-related issues. The creation of a whitelist by an advertiser based on the advice provided by the brand helps ensure only credible websites are used to display ads. Specific ad agencies and brands have specific impression thresholds to ensure that publishers are not violating terms and damaging the brand’s image. Concurrently, this helps the billing department in different ad agencies to remediate lost impressions.


To add another level of safety, advertisers and brands are conducting keyword-level blocking. Advertisers are blocking a setlist of keywords based on recommendations provided by the brand and MRC (Media Rating Council) guidelines that have been put in place.

Also, brands and advertisers are ensuring that the whitelist that they are implementing is localized by the region that they are situated in. Also, ensuring specific blacklists and whitelists for keywords and domains are implemented. Within ad-serving tools such as CM (Google Campaign Manager), the advertiser has the capability of blocking specific keywords enabling the protection of brands from certain keywords. Consequently, within CM the advertiser has the capability of blocking specific domains and helping render default ads on those specific sites. This always enables the brand and advertiser to be protected.

In Summary, brands and advertisers are contending by instilling different measures to stay protected. Different ad tech firms are involved in providing pre-bid solutions, viewability, and brand safety measures. At AdSkate we are working on providing valuable solutions that are viable for different business scenarios.