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GroupM tackles YouTube brand safety as it partners with analytics firm OpenSlate


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

March 29, 2017 | 3 min read

Media investment agency GroupM is hoping to help its clients to move past the recent Google brand safety furore and is working with social video analytics company OpenSlate to enhance brand safety on YouTube media buys.

Youtube brand safety

GroupM tackles YouTube brand safety as it partners with analytics firm OpenSlate

GroupM will work with the company to take advantage of the data it holds about all ad-supported content on YouTube. OpenSlate’s data platform scores YouTube content for quality and brand safety, and provides advertisers with contextual insights.

The deal comes after GroupM confirmed to The Drum earlier this month that it was not advising clients to axe spend, but is instead urging them to be “mindful of the implications and join us in working with Google and others to meet our collective brand safety standards".

By working with OpenSlate the WPP agency is hoping to enhance brand safety in both reservation media, including Google Preferred, and in auction-based inventory bought through AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager. Using independent data from OpenSlate, GroupM clients will be able to better define the type of content that should be excluded from their YouTube media buys.

“Long gone are the days when advertisers could simply rely on reaching audiences in carefully curated programming environments. Most brands today have scaled their advertising on digital platforms like YouTube, where most content is user-generated, but their needs for mature and safe ad products and environments persist.” said Susan Schiekofer, chief digital investment officer, GroupM North America.

“Although it is not possible to eliminate all risks in user-generated media, our clients’ hard-won brand reputations must be protected with the best efforts possible. We appreciate that Google is enabling our work with OpenSlate to provide our clients with better brand safety controls, and we believe it’s essential that all digital platforms carrying ad-supported user-generated content do the same.”

The solution will initially roll out in the US and UK, and plans are underway to adapt it to additional international markets.

Speaking to The Drum earlier this month, GroupM’s chief digital officer Rob Norman said once the concerns over ad misplaced on YouTube arose it tried to give its clients “a quantification and risk assessment and let them make their own decisions from that because we believe that’s our role.”

"Our view is that we are responsible for advising our clients as best as we can because they do use all of these platforms for a reason and the reason is they think they derive value from their advertising so to cut off line of communication unilaterally would be inappropriate."

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