Mastering Safety Branding: The New Frontier in Online Advertising

Navigating the Digital Minefield: How to Keep Your Brand Safe and Thriving

Key Takeaways:

  • Brand safety is about maintaining a positive image of your brand in the online space.
  • Potential threats include “malgorithms,” fake news, extremist content, and bot traffic.
  • Choosing the right inventory, reliable publishers, and leveraging ad tech can help mitigate these threats.
  • In-house initiatives and collaborations with trustworthy programmatic providers can increase transparency and ensure brand safety.
  • Employing real-time data tracking, utilizing negative targets, and availing third-party verification services can further reinforce your brand’s safety.

Introduction: Brand Safety and Its Importance

Brand safety, as per the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), revolves around preserving a brand’s reputation when advertising online. It is the art and science of ensuring that your brand is never associated with content that could taint its image. This concept extends to securing a conducive environment for ad trading, leading to reduced risks of ad misplacement and prevention of funding content and services infringing copyright.

However, the complex online ecosystem makes it a challenging endeavor. Several threats are lurking in the digital world, ready to tarnish your brand’s reputation.

The Menacing Malgorithms

The term “malgorithm” illustrates the misalignment between a page and its display ad’s contextual meaning. While sometimes humorous, these instances often result in the inappropriate placement of ads, damaging a brand’s image. For instance, an ad for a dating website might inadvertently find itself beside a profile of a notorious criminal, creating a humorous yet damaging juxtaposition. Such scenarios underline the importance of proper ad placement to ensure effective advertising and maintain brand safety.

Fake News: A Real Threat

The emergence and proliferation of fake news have proven to be a significant threat to brand safety. The issue stems from ads inadvertently funding fraudulent activities, such as enticing users to click through to a site containing false articles. Brands must be vigilant about where their ads are placed to avoid being associated with such damaging content.

The Extremist Sites Conundrum

Placement of ads on sites hosting extremist views is a brand’s worst nightmare. No brand wants to find itself associated with a hateful viewpoint, much less fund it through an ad. Brands must therefore exercise due diligence in ensuring that their ads do not appear on platforms that can tarnish their reputation.

When Streaming Goes Wrong: The Case of YouTube

Streamlining brand safety is crucial for platforms like YouTube. In the past, the platform has grappled with issues relating to brand advertising appearing next to inappropriate or extremist content. These scandals underscore the importance of online platforms in providing a safe environment for brands to advertise.

The Bot Traffic Threat

Fraudulent clicks, predominantly driven by bot traffic, pose a considerable challenge to brand safety. They impact ROI, conversion metrics, and overall brand perception. However, the rise in technologies to combat these fraudulent clicks is a promising development in the quest for enhanced brand safety.

Why Do These Threats Exist?

These brand safety threats often occur due to the choice of inventory and the cost of ad placements. Generally, premium inventory (safer ad locations) is more expensive, leading some businesses to opt for cheaper, riskier options. However, a shift is happening with brands and publishers moving towards more controlled environments like programmatic marketing platforms (PMPs) and programmatic direct deals, emphasizing quality over quantity.

Best Practices for Brand Safety

To protect your brand online, you need to define what brand safety means for your business as it is subjective and varies from one brand to another. Once defined, prioritize transparency, choose a reputable programmatic provider, and opt for premium inventory. Also, avoid blacklisted publishers and use insights to monitor campaigns in real-time.

Use of “Negative Target” and Third-Party Verification

To enhance brand safety, consider using a campaign’s “negative target” or exclusion features provided by most programmatic publishers. It allows you to exclude any harmful inventory. Although it’s not a fool-proof method, it is a proactive step towards ensuring your ads display only where you want them to.

Moreover, consider using third-party verification services. These companies will check sites and pages before publishing, ensuring that your ads do not show up in any unsafe locations.

The Final Word

In the ever-evolving digital landscape, brand safety has become paramount. The challenges are numerous, but by employing the best practices in your programmatic campaigns and focusing on quality rather than quantity, you can safely navigate this digital minefield. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially when your brand’s reputation is at stake.

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.