Advertising TikTok Brand Safety

TikTok opens brand safety tool to ad partners in the UK, Australia and Canada


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

March 16, 2021 | 4 min read

TikTok has expanded its partnership with brand safety platform OpenSlate beyond the US, opening it up to advertising partners in Australia, Canada and the UK. Its aim is to address fears ads could be displayed alongside material deemed ’questionable’.


TikTok opens brand safety tool to ad partners in the UK, Australia and Canada

The US partnership was launched in October 2020. The TikTok Brand Safety Solution is a verification and filter tool designed to weed out inappropriate content and categories that may appear next to branded ads and other material.

So, what does this mean?

Content rating firm OpenSlate says it can “identify and align with the best environments for your brand message”, by analyzing content and giving the content ratings. Meanwhile, it says it can find quality content at scale in the ecosystem.

In TikTok, it says it will also track where the campaigns appear through pre-campaign specification and post-campaign analytics. It offers a bit more protection and specificity in the TikTok space.

TikTok’s brand safety move follows the launch of a safety advisory council in the Asia Pacific region to provide oversight of content moderation and data safety without fear or favor.

It’s a hot topic for TikTok, having been criticized for the content moderation efforts of its sister firm in China.

Why does it matter?

TikTok was obliged to act amid mounting concern among advertisers about the risk associated with doing business on the fast-growing platform. It now expands the protections to some of its biggest markets outside of China and the US.

TikTok will be hoping that with outside help, it can persuade and cajole hesitant advertisers to set aside their fears and fully embrace what the platform can offer.

The big networks are taking it seriously and WPP signed a deal with TikTok in February that offers its clients a first-hand look at new products and at its work on brand safety. These measures will help bring the site up to the standards expected in the industry.

GroupM is conducting research with TikTok to determine best practices for advertisers to use the platform. No doubt it’ll also be testing the efficacy of these brand safety measures.

What does TikTok say?

Kris Boger, head of product marketing for Europe at TikTok, says “We want our partners to be their authentic selves on the platform and that means they need to trust where their videos are seen.”

A press release from TikTok meanwhile reads: “We strive to create the most transparent and accountable company in the industry.” This is thought to be an allusion to some of the brand safety scandals that have rocked market leaders Facebook and YouTube.

Advertising TikTok Brand Safety

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