Transparency around media quality is the key for brand safety

Brand safety

Increasing concerns about brand placement or “safety,” digital ad fraud and low viewability has had an impact on digital ad performance and is a growing concern for brands.

A recent global study by DoubleVerify, a platform specializing in media authentication, reports it blocked 85m ads that were adjacent to inflammatory news, and have seen a 250% increase since January 2017.

"Without exception, advertisers must have the ability to measure the total quality of what's delivered, regardless of platform. As demonstrated by the insights in this report, transparency around media quality is the key to unlocking global digital ad performance," said Wayne Gattinella, chief executive and president of DoubleVerify. "Fake news is increasing a global problem with the US having the highest overall rate of advertising fraud (6%) and the highest rate among display ads (6%), compared to all other countries and markets in the report."

The report showed a direct correlation between political and unpredictable events and surges in fake news as well. Among the findings, the volume of fake news more than doubled in France during that country's 2017 presidential election. Meanwhile, Italy saw a 75% increase in fake news around major news days, including those with terrorist or political events.

While brand safety issues vary by country, Brazil had the highest violations at ten percent, and India had the lowest at two percent. The US fell in the middle at five percent. Finally, APAC brand safety issues for video ads are the highest at 14% compared to other markets.

The report also found that bots are no longer as problematic as infected browsers, which are the new digital ad problem. Instead of bots creating "ghost" browsing sessions, fraudsters are now manipulating a user's active browser, making it harder to pinpoint and avoid.

"Clearly, the industry has some work to do, but the more we embrace tools and standards that support transparency across screens and platforms, the faster we'll evolve," Gattinella said. "The goal is to provide supportive metrics that measure the quality of consumer ad engagement – the true indicator of media effectiveness and performance."

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