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Fraud follows the money: what marketers need to know about brand safety and CTV

Operating in a brand-safe environment is a brand's key concerns

There’s been an undeniable move to CTV by viewers across the world this year, as people spent more time at home with premium video but this means marketers now need to keep a keen eye on brand safety.

Penny Langenfeld, director of programmatic sales, South East Asia at DoubleVerify explains that as marketers invest more into CTV and advanced TV, they need to make sure they have a brand safety strategy in place because fraudsters tend to follow the money.

“CTV comes with more premium CPMs and we know that fraudsters are going to follow those premium CPMs to make more money. We also have increasing consumption, so it's no surprise that we have seen an increase in fraud. In the last 18 months, DoubleVerify has detected over 1300 fraudulent CTV apps, and 60% of that actually has been in 2020,” she explains.

Langenfeld was speaking at The Drum’s Digital Summit last month, alongside Kimberly Clark director of digital and analytics APAC, Juliana Chu, SpotX managing director, Asia, Gavin Buxton and OMD chief operating officer, APAC, Rochelle Chhaya.

Operating in a brand-safe environment is a brand's key concerns, according to Kimberly Clark’s Chu, but it needs to sit alongside a wider brand safety strategy for video.

“It is very important, of course, especially for us because we have very family orientated, personal care brands. We produce Huggies, Kotex and Kleenex, so it has to be safe for the whole family. It's becoming more and more important, not really only on the CTV side of things but also as brands are also being driven by UGC and word of mouth,” she explains.

Chu adds that as a marketer, she’s open to new start-ups and technology innovation as a means to solve this problem that marketers have to monitor. However, keeping up with the speed of change in technology can be a challenge and OMD’s Chhaya believes that agencies can take on some of that burden and accelerate the education needed to stay abreast of industry changes.

“if you think about it, today is the slowest rate of change that we're ever gonna see. Technology is changing so fast that every day people are innovating in different ways. I think agencies, therefore, do bear the burden of making sure that they're bridging the gap of when innovation or betas come up at publishers and partners, and how quickly they can actually be taken to brands,” she says.

To do this agencies need to make sure that discussions around the quality of supply, innovations that are happening and brand safety need to be core to conversations and not on the periphery. “At Omnicom, for example, we created extremely stringent guidelines for supply curation in terms of brand safety, transparency and viewability,” she explains.

The second thing Chhaya says the agency should look at on behalf is data integrations with partners, so that measurement and effectiveness insights, which will inform future investment decisions.

In terms of what’s coming next, Spotx’s Buxton believes that brand safety needs to be looked at as a first priority for brands because will then allow them to get into the more creative and innovative possibilities of a premium environment like CTV.

“Brand safety is the foundational layer that needs to be in place and companies like DoubleVerify are really helping on that. What is needed is to build trust and respect into the ecosystem on top of that so that you can then bring greater creativity. We're comparing it to traditional TV, where it's been a known and trusted format for 30 plus years but once we get into digital environments, the opportunity for better engagement and interactivity is accelerated,” adds Buxton.

As CTV is at the start of its ascension, getting the basics of a strategy on brand safety is a must. The potential to innovate with interactivity and creative is bigger in this environment, so having a safe environment for ads is a sensible starting point for brands and agencies.

To hear the full discussion from the session at The Drum Digital Summit, visit the catch-up video.

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