Brand Safety is a subject close to our heart’s here at JPC Network, but what exactly is Brand Safety and why is it important to us?

Let’s start with the basics …

Brand Safety, at its most roots level, is a set of measures taken to assure the brand image of advertisers when they are displayed next to publisher inventory.

Here the onus is on the publisher to provide high quality inventory to advertisers, with bilateral benefits to both parties. The advertiser gets their image out there, driving interest in their product or service & the publisher earns revenues of the advertisement shown.

The higher the quality of publisher inventory available, the higher the price it commands vis a vis the advertisers.


Unsafe brand safety …

Brand safety - Photo by Kai Pilger

Brand Safety becomes an issue when advertisers are exposed to something that doesn’t reflect or compliment their image.

In publishing, there are a myriad of potential ‘low quality’ scenarios, but generally they can be boiled down to; low site quality, low content quality or undesirable article content.

The latter of which has really come to the fore during the corvid-19 crisis.


Covid-19 …

It has been well documented that adspend has dropped significantly during the crisis (just have to go check out adexchanger or adweek on any given day).

Premium news publishers have perhaps been the worst impacted as advertisers sought to distance themselves from any articles referencing the virus…

This, to an advertiser, fits into that ‘undesirable article content’ category, which is fair enough, why would you want your brand image to be associated with an international health crisis?

The answer is, you wouldn’t.

However, advertisers are missing out on supporting the heart-warming stories linked to the virus (for example Captain Tom), simply because they have placed a blanket block of advertising on any articles referencing ‘covid-19’ or ‘coronavirus’.

It is worth noting here that ad revenues make up significant portions of the publishers funding in order to provide us with this content (so shout out to the BBC, LeMonde, Bild, etc).


Why is it important to us?

United Nations COVID-19 Response

The covid-19 scenario is an extreme example, but one that highlights the point of this article perfectly.

Brand Safety, and giving advertisers confidence, is a fundamental component in our ecosystem. Without instilling this confidence in advertisers, then they would surely take their budgets elsewhere.

Currently most of our supply paths (how we offer up inventory to advertisers) are automated, subject to default quality checks and, as such, are susceptible to mass blocking (by keyword for example).

The onus is on us, the publishers, networks and supply partners, not only to work together to package inventory correctly, but also to pick up the phone every once in a while and have a chat to the advertisers. Now is a good time to start working together on brand suitability, if we don’t, it could come back to bite us…