Post-scandal research suggests alarming lack of brand safety knowledge
New ad placement guarantee spearheaded by Vibrant Media Co-Founder, Doug Stevenson
New research conducted in the aftermath of the 2017 brand safety scandal shows that just one in four advertising buyers and planners at leading media agencies (27.27 per cent) say with confidence that they feel informed of the brand safety measures of the ads they buy. Over a third (33.33 per cent) do not feel informed and one sixth (15.15 per cent) either only feel informed from certain vendors or to a partial extent. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24.24 per cent) failed to answer the specific question put to them on how informed they were of ad vendors’ brand safety measures. Researchers from Vibrant Media, the LEAN native ad company that conducted the research, identified this particular result as an unusually high and notable number of failed responses to a specific question which may indicate media executives’ unwillingness to admit their lack of brand safety knowledge.
Such alarmingly low levels of knowledge persist in the wake of the 2017 brand safety scandal and despite 87.87 per cent of ad planners and buyers stating that their number one priority is ensuring brand safe environments for their marketing clients. Three-fifths of planners and buyers (59.09 per cent) even say that brand safety is typically discussed for media buys, yet fewer than three out of ten (28.78 per cent) say they always know where their ads are running.
However, ad buyers may be becoming more active on brand safety, as nearly half (49.99 per cent) say they will be actively asking for brand safety information in media buys following the scandal, and nearly three quarters (73.43 per cent) agree with pulling ad spend on sites that have unsafe content, as huge brands across the world did in spring 2017. This increasing activism from leading media agencies has prompted Doug Stevenson, Co-Founder of Vibrant Media, to spearhead a new ad placement guarantee to re-emphasise and reassure planners and buyers of Vibrant Media’s brand safety measures, action against ad fraud, and optimum viewability.
He said, “Our new ad placement guarantee has emerged from a codification of Vibrant Media’s current practices, technological optimizations and a public statement of our hard-line approach to shutting down ad impressions and monetization from any media title that infringes our stated quality standards. It also stresses our refusal to abrogate human responsibility from ad placement despite our continuing commitment to introducing new technological efficiencies. This is very important, considering that nearly three-quarters of ad buyers and planners (74.24 per cent) told our researchers that it’s more difficult to ensure brand safe environments when buying programmatically on open exchanges. Quality digital ad placement requires man and machine to work in concert.”
Operation Of Vibrant Media’s Ad Placement Guarantee
Vibrant Media’s Content Quality Team operates a twelve-step process to vet publishers’ operations and content before permitting them into its 6600 strong network. They also manage SafeServe™, Vibrant Media’s proprietary content verification technology, which has been continuously optimized over eleven years since it was first developed. Before a Vibrant Media ad is placed anywhere, SafeServe™ contextually analyses the articles of every vetted publisher in real time for their suitability to display each brands’ ads. The Content Quality Team also reacts immediately to current affairs and the news agenda by manually blocking ads from displaying with content containing newly distasteful or brand damaging words and phrases such as the names of deceased celebrities, brand names facing a crisis and destinations of terrorist incidents or natural disasters. Vibrant Media has always provided advertisers with a full and transparent list of the publishers where ads run, but it has recently bolstered this with third-party verified viewability and fraud metrics. Unlike other companies, Vibrant’s Content Quality Team proactively monitors and investigates IP addresses to understand where campaign traffic is coming from and who is behind the clicks. The team’s strong relationships with their publisher partners means they can help publishers to maintain the quality of their media titles’ content and guarantee high-quality ad placement to brands. All the while editorial integrity remains sacrosanct. However, if any media title fails upon notice to address infringements of Vibrant Media’s ad placement standards within one week, its Vibrant Media ad impressions and monetization will be shut down.
Doug Stevenson said, “Several industry initiatives have taken important steps to promote brand safety, combat ad fraud, and optimize viewability, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the US and Internet Advertising Bureau in the UK, the JICWEBS’ Brand Safety Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG), and the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG). Vibrant Media is an active supporter of and contributor to those efforts, but we believe we have a responsibility to do even more to protect our partners from the risks of brand damage and wasted spending from those systemic problems.”
Vibrant Media’s Premium Promise
The ad placement guarantee joins Vibrant’s assurance of verified viewability and value in Vibrant Media’s Premium Promise.
Ad performance is verified by industry trusted measurement companies. These partners enable Vibrant Media’s Content Quality Team to monitor viewability, brand safety, ad fraud and overall performance in real time, as well as to provide evaluation reports to clients on demand. Vibrant has also been awarded industry seals and certifications. The ABC audited JICWEBS Brand Safety/DTSG Seal gives brands greater reassurance that their advertising is more likely to reach the right audience and is not associated with content that could jeopardize brand reputation. TAG’s Inventory Quality Guidelines (IQG) Seal certifies Vibrant Media’s compliance with a set of common disclosures that describe and disclose the characteristics of advertising inventory and creative content before and during transactions.
Ad viewability is optimized by placing Vibrant’s LEAN ads natively within editorial text and images of publishers that consumers trust. Vibrant Media has embraced the GroupM viewability standards – the most stringent in the industry – enabling it to guarantee 100% viewable ads to advertisers.
Advertisers get value for money by only paying for ads when a qualified relevant human interacts with a viewable ad. This innovative, risk-free billing structure is enabled by Vibrant’s contextual targeting, intelligent qualification technology (Vibrant IQ) and consumer-initiated approach to displaying ads.
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Notes To Editors
Research conducted by Vibrant Media with 66 media planners and buyers at leading media agencies across Germany, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Country specific statistics and comparisons are available upon request.
About Vibrant Media
Formed in 2000, Vibrant Media is the original native advertising platform. Vibrant connects consumers in real time with engaging content and brand experiences cross-platform. Delivered directly off of words, images & video within a premium native environment, Vibrant’s solutions are designed to be viewable, relevant and engaging. With over 6,600 premium publishers, reaching more than 450 million unique users per month, Vibrant delivers native advertising at scale. Vibrant works with top brand advertisers such as Microsoft, Unilever, Chrysler and AT&T. The company was founded in 2000 and has offices in New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Hamburg, Munich, and Dusseldorf. For more information about Vibrant, please visit www.vibrantmedia.com , https://www.vibrantmedia.com/news/vibrant-news/, www.facebook.com/vibrantmedia or www.twitter.com/vibrantmedia. Vibrant’s blog with insights on the digital marketing industry can be found at https://www.vibrantmedia.com/news/vibrant-blog/