It’s been almost a year since The Times revealed that some of the world’s best-known brands, such as Sandals and Mercedes, were unknowingly funding extremist groups and pornographers when their advertisements appeared alongside illegal, violent, or hateful content. Since then, more brands have pulled spend on digital advertising and avoid certain platforms. According to recent research, this is a primary concern for many UK brands, with many “demanding increased industry regulations, better measurement online and more transparency to clean up the digital advertising ecosystem.”
In the past year, 83 percent of chief marketing officers (CMOs) at large UK brands became more anxious about brand safety, and 95 percent made a significant overhaul of their digital strategies. A lack of trust and transparency has made brands more cautious when choosing which suppliers and agencies they’ll work with. In fact, 93 percent of respondents indicated that they are re-examining all their relationships, and will choose to work with firms that can prove their track record on brand safety and transparency.
The bright side in all this is that CMOs are taking more control over their digital strategy, resulting in higher industry-wide standards. By focussing on providing clean advertising, brands can be assured that their ads aren’t funding unworthy or dangerous causes, freeing them up to direct their energy into more important areas of their digital strategy, such as improving the customer experience by providing high-quality nonintrusive creative.
What about your brand? Have you been affected by a brand safety issue? Has this raised concerns about where your ads are placed? What are you doing to ensure you aren’t caught out?