In the U.S., ad fraud adds up to $2.496 billion, according to GroupM. The biggest market for fraud is China at $18.675 billion.
Uber is suing five ad networks for squandering tens of millions of dollars on low-quality or fraudulent inventory.
GroupM defines brand safety as any risk that advertisers may face in the digital supply chain. In addition to financial risk, advertisers face reputational risk from being adjacent to dodgy traffic and legal risks, including compromising consumer privacy.
To read GroupM’s full brand safety report, click here.
Today’s consumers are sensitive to the perceived value of brands: 53% would rather buy from companies that reflect their unique values and beliefs, and a similar number reported abandoning a brand based on these views.
Efficient implementation requires sizeable resources, and few have the leverage and close relationships with publishers to create this infrastructure. It is essential to maintain scale so that imposing stringent criteria doesn’t also limit advertising reach and potential.
More importantly than being concerned about brand safety, advertisers should focus on brand suitability – identifying and targeting content that is on message with their ad message and branding.
Many say the death of the cookie will also lead to an increase in contextual advertising and a resurgence of advertiser blacklisting.
In a post-cookie world where content matters more to advertisers, there is a fear publishers may abstain from news and political and investigative journalism in favor of advertiser-friendly content. This future-state would be detrimental to brands, consumers, journalism, and democracy at large.
Nearly three-quarters of the articles across LGBT-friendly news sites, like The Advocate and the U.K.-based PinkNews, are flagged as brand-unsafe and potentially pornographic.
The Cheq study referenced an industry-standard blacklist of 2,000 words and found keywords like “lesbians,” “bisexuals” and “drag queens,” among others.
“From an ad agency perspective, an article on lesbian sexual health is an article about porn. But stories about lesbian actresses or politicians, we’re finding those blocked from a lot of ad agencies as well.”
The CHEQ study found 53% of safe or positive content on News.com.au, including stories on entertainment and history, were flagged through the use of over-reaching keywords, such as “attack” and “army” effectively demonetizing the content.
A story about the Salvation Army was blocked for the keyword “army”
A story about a cricket match in which the team captain mentioned they had a good attack was blocked for the word “attack”
A story about Tom Cruise’s return to Top Gun was blocked for the word “gun”
57% – 129 stories – of uncontroversial news reports on a single day, were incorrectly flagged as unsafe due to keyword detection preventing brands from appearing and damaging monetization of news.
Searching YouTube across 10 languages, the BBC found more than 80 videos containing health misinformation – mainly bogus cancer cures. Ten of the videos found had more than a million views.
Appearing before the fake cancer cure videos were ads for well-known brands including Samsung, Heinz, and Clinique.
A simple search for “cancer treatment” in Russian leads to videos advocating drinking baking soda. Watching these videos led to recommendations for other unproven “treatments” such as carrot juice or extreme fasting.
In addition to Samsung, Heinz, and Clinique, the BBC saw ads for Booking.com, Grammarly, Hollywood films, and for British universities including the University of East Anglia and the University of Gloucestershire. All of the ads appeared alongside potentially harmful misinformation.
82% of adults say it is important that a brand’s ads appear on content that is safe, accurate and trustworthy.
Nearly two-thirds of consumers likely to stop using the brand or product if they viewed the brand’s advertising beside false, objectionable or inflammatory content.
Daniel Tan, Disney: “Content to be feared can come from every different corner, especially for a brand like Disney that prides itself in being able to be enjoyed by everybody in the family.”
Amit Dasgupta, Adidas: “We operate in over 180 different countries. The biggest thing that we trust is our people on the ground to have those conversations and understand how things are. For every campaign that we run we have long discussions with people on the ground to see what works and we do understand that not one size fits all.”
David Porter, WFA Media Forum: “We’re starting to take the view, as a body, that the way to solve this is to identify the publishers that run a tight ship and work with them. Rather than fix a whole industry that will always have certain bad players in it. After all, we’re not policemen.”
Dominique Touchard, P&G: “What matters more is not so much finding the perfect data, because then you’re working to get the perfect data, when our job is to get the perfect commercial proposition to get the products out there. We’re not there to chase the perfect data.”
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