Nearly Two-Thirds of Advertisers Say Brand Safety Tools Are Not Fit for Purpose

Brand Marketers Say They Would Forgo the Use of Solutions If They Were Not Achieving Adequate Reach

Though almost all advertisers are using technology to prevent brand safety incidents, almost two thirds (61 percent) are seriously concerned that such tools are not fit for purpose, according to a new report from military-grade cybersecurity company CHEQ and media publisher Digiday.

The survey of 300 brands, agencies and publishers found that 85 percent of brands have used safety technology for more than a year, 11 percent have started using these solutions in the past year, and 3 percent plan to implement them in the next 12 months.

However, brands are concerned that such tools are failing to adequately deal with the problem of brand safety. The main concern, from 95 percent of brands expressing concern, is that the use of blacklists and whitelists is limiting the reach of their online campaigns. Highlighting their frustration, 92 percent of brand marketers would forgo the use of brand safety tools if they were not achieving adequate reach, while 99 percent want more customized tools to ensure safety, without sacrificing reach.

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Publishers say brand safety is hurting monetization

In a similar picture, some 60 percent of publishers have offered technology or tools for more than a year, to ensure advertisers reach the right audience. In addition, 26 percent of publishers have introduced solutions in the last 12 months, and nine percent plan to in the next 12 months.

However, 84 percent of publishers believe first generation brand safety solutions are over-blocking safe content on their sites, and 42 percent are extremely concerned that this is damaging monetization. More broadly, 91 percent of publishers fear that crude overblocking, such as using keywords, poses a threat to the future of online content and news. Some 88 percent of publishers believe more customized technology tools would help them to better monetize more of their content.

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CHEQ founder and CEO Guy Tytunovich said: “Advertisers are increasingly putting pressure on the industry, from platforms to publishers, to ensure ads are served in safe environments. That has been a catalyst for the creation of an entire catalogue of solutions, tools, and technologies. However, a staggering 61 percent of brands and 84 percent of publishers are seriously concerned that today’s tools are insufficient to deal with the problem of brand safety. While everyone has a part to play, there is a major responsibility within the tech industry to step up to the plate by deploying major advances that have taken place in brand safety recognition and detection, particularly with AI, which can detect brand safe issues in real time and prevent ads being served. The use of a more sophisticated and customized approach can improve trust and provide reassurance that brand safety can be effectively managed.”

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