How Brand Safety Standards Enable Programmatic Success

By John Springer  | 

Programmatic advertising provides a lot of benefits to the industry, but this new form of automated ad buying also creates new challenges for advertisers, specifically when it comes to concerns about brand safety. Why is brand safety something advertisers should measure, and how it is connected to programmatic advertising?

Brand safety refers to the practices and tools used by advertisers that allow them to avoid appearing alongside inappropriate, irrelevant or objectionable publisher content. In the past, it was relatively straightforward for advertisers to avoid buying placements near less-than-savory or irrelevant content. Advertisers simply approved a media plan and moved forward with their campaigns. But programmatic buying has changed all that. Because much of the buying happens automatically to reach a targeted audience, advertisers simply can’t monitor every single placement as they once did.

How can an advertiser ensure their next campaign doesn’t face issues with brand safety? There are a number of best practices to ensure brand safety success:

  1. Develop Standards
    Every brand projects a unique set of values that align with its target customers. Think about how these values match not just the websites that are a good fit for the brand, but also those that aren’t. Knowing this in advance can help set standards to rely upon moving forward.
  2. Build a Blacklist During the Pre-bid Phase
    Because of the automated nature of programmatic buying, it’s important to have a blacklist of sites before the bidding process begins. Most programmatic vendors provide pre-made lists for advertisers to use, though it’s useful for advertisers and agencies to further customize this to fit their brands’ specific brand requirements and content concerns.
  3. Monitor during the campaign
    Utilize real-time filtering and blocking as the campaign runs to make sure ads are not running on undesirable sites.

As always, working closely with your ad serving partner is key to ensuring that brand safety goals are top of mind throughout the life of every campaign.

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