What is Brand Safety? 

According to the IAB, brand safety is keeping a brand’s reputation safe during the ad campaign run. It is the practice of avoiding displaying advertisements in content that might hurt brand reputation, for example content about drugs, murders, fake news and so on. 

When it comes to implementing brand safety measures, there are three levels of brand safety with different tools — pre-bid, during ad campaign and post-bid:

  • Pre-bid brand safety tools: black and white lists of sites where advertisements wouldn’t and would display respectively, keyword list that allows brands to avoid web content based on headline keywords that appear in the URL or body content. 
  • During an ad campaign: keyword blocklist, prioritizing URL and so on.
  • Post-impression: this level involves analysis of results of an ad campaign including traffic source with quality of traffic and bots, contextual analysis and so on. If placement doesn’t meet the requirements and show bad results, placement is excluded from future ad campaigns and put in blacklist. 

In order to make brand safety protection stronger, advertisers should:

  • Make sure that publishers and ad placements match advertiser’s standards. Pay attention to ad quality metrics such as viewability, fill rate, using blacklisted keywords and other to exclude unsafe placement on time. 
  • Avoid bot traffic. Non-human traffic significantly increases reputation risk for brands. If advertisers notice unusual traffic to a site, it needs to take action to stop it. 
  • Work with a reliable brand safety and verification partner that will help increase the safety of brand reputation. 
  • Opt for premium ad inventory that will make  sure that brand ads do not end up on unsafe domains or web pages.