Context Matters: A Marketer’s Guide to Safer Digital Advertisements

AT&T, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson were among the over 100 brands that quit YouTube after a London News Reporter exposed the advertisements were aired alongside extremist videos. Soon after, conversations broke out about brand placement and how to create a safe digital space.Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 10.17.11 AM

Especially in lieu of today’s tense political climate, it is essential to ensure that your digital advertisements do not appear in a damaging context that could sabotage the brand image.

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How can we, as marketers, try to avoid framing our creative and content in a negative light?

Promoting Transparency

A two-way street of open and transparent communication between both parties is crucial in programmatic buying. Ask the publisher to provide you full information about where the ad will run and the nature of their incoming traffic.

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Establishing Your Target Audience

Conceptualize your ideal audience. Task yourself to prioritize pushing your content to the right audience in the right environment.

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Research Your Options

There are several ad networks out there – know how they differ from each other and what’s best for you. Understand the price market. If something is cheaper than it should be, it’s likely a shady site.


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Know Where Your Ads Run

At the end of the day, you are still accountable for where your brand’s advertisements are placed. Crosscheck live URLs to make sure your brand values align with content on these websites.

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When you work with vendors or ad networks, make sure they’re certified to IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) measurement guidelines. IAB has set a list of Quality Assurance Guidelines to make sure suppliers comply with the industry’s best practices. To ensure authentic inventory, use services by companies that have been certified by a third party.



Establish Relations

Develop good relations with media sellers to build a reliable network.



To avoid situations like this, practice methods that will keep your brand identity safe in the digital space.