Brand Safe Environment is #1 Priority for Advertisers

By The Myers Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Brand Safe Environment is #1 Priority for Advertisers




Brand safety is again in the headlines as YouTube announced new content certification partners and became embroiled with its long-time partner OpenSlate. (Disclosure: Jack Myers served as an early advisory board member for OpenSlate and YouTube is a MediaVillage member company.) While performance metrics vary and available data is constantly upgraded, a constant among advertisers is the need to avoid placement of their advertising messages in content they deem inappropriate. Each advertiser judges You Tube and other online (and TV) content by differing standards, creating the need for flexible and manageable systems. The importance and relevance of the brand safety issue is highlighted by its top ranking in The Myers Report's annual survey of 100 advertiser executives and 600 agency professionals. Seventy-two percent of advertisers rate Brand Safety as "extremely/very" important to their media approval process, with 43% rating brand safety as "10" (extremely important) on the ten-point scale, an additional 29% rating it "9" and an incremental 14% rating brand safety "8" on the 10-point scale, translating into 86% of advertisers elevating brand safety to their most important priority, closely followed by Relevant Audience Reach and Trusted Partnerships. Agency respondents to The Myers Report survey similarly rank these three priorities as very important to their planning and buying considerations.

For agency media planners and buyers, there's less margin for error, miscalculation, or subjective considerations in the avoidance of content environments that their clients consider inappropriate. Upsetting valued partnerships takes only one senior executive who views their company's ad in content to which they take personal objection. The reality is that brand safe content is subjective and no level of security can assure 100% fool-proof protection. Thus the attention to brand safety requires both human and technology-based intervention. Earlier this week, as reported by AdExchanger, YouTube has added five additional tech partners to its YouTube Measurement Program in addition to the established four partners. OpenSlate, a member of the program since 2017, has been in a dispute with Google over the issue of transparency in its reporting to YouTube clients and is no longer listed as a Measurement program partner. According to AdExchanger, "OpenSlate believes the terms of the contract would bar it from reporting to clients when ads ran against sensitive content on YouTube – such as hate speech, profanity, illegal substance use and violence – without Google's approval."

YouTube has invested considerably in both technology and personnel to address advertisers' needs for "eyes-on" sensitivity and responsiveness to brand safety requirements, and continues to walk a fine line between consumer needs, censorship and simply the reality of managing 300 hours of video that are uploaded to YouTube every minute, with 3.25 billion hours of video watched on YouTube each month. Eighty percent of these views are outside of the U.S., many in areas where standards of brand safety differ significantly.

Concerns about brand safe content and context is not restricted to YouTube and online content. Agencies have always been responsible for assessing the content of television programming and especially news programming. During Covid-19, while news media audiences have grown exponentially, the economic benefits have been limited due to advertiser concerns. Several advertisers "black list" certain reality programming, talk shows, and content with explicit sex, violence, and drug use. Bottom line, Brand Safety rises to the top of the priority list for media planning and buying primarily because it is such a subjective issue requiring constant attention to detail.

Data based on percent of respondents rating each factor Top 2-Box (Extremely/Very Important)
10-point rating scale from Not-at-All Important (1) to Extremely Important (10).
Details and methodology available to MediaVillage Member companies
Respondents must self-identify as being involved/influential in the media planning/buying/decision-making process
The above represents 100 advertiser executives. Data available on agency respondents and multiple respondent groups.
Custom analyses are available to MediaVillage member companies.
For a full list of 80 media sales organizations included in the survey, link here to the methodology.

Copyright ©2024 MediaVillage, Inc. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.