We all get excited when our organization’s brand is used in a positive light on social media or via web site. But what happens when there is a brand safety issue and it appears negatively in the wrong place, such as a website, blog or video? The adage “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” really does not apply. A recent article in the Association Now e-newsletter highlights a new initiative to protect brand safety. According the article, “the program will create a process for flagging instances of ads appearing in an environment that the advertiser might find undesirable, notifying ad agencies, and investigating what happened.” It is being launched by The American Association of Advertising Agencies (the 4A’s), a leading association representing advertisers and their agencies.
A recent webinar by IAS Insider posed three advertising scenarios and asked webinar participants how they might feel if their brand were juxtaposed to a public service ad opposing the legalization of marijuana, a picture of an article discussing a safe sex workout and content about sex trafficking. All are legitimate public health or societal issues, but not every brand would feel comfortable appearing next to that content.
An example of brand safety
One example of this currently underway involved YouTube. According to an article in Variety, the video channel website made “its creator revenue-sharing program more restrictive and will start manually reviewing all videos in its Google Preferred premium advertising program — steps designed to assure advertisers that their messages won’t show up in disturbing or inappropriate videos.”
It’s possible the 4A’s effort will attempt to achieve a similar level of monitoring and perhaps enforcement or action that can be taken, collectively against the offending website. How this turns out will be a source of numerous conversations and considerable scrutiny as this issue affects billions of dollars of brand equity as well as multi-million-dollar ad and marketing campaigns.
This is just getting launched, so stay tuned for more information on their recommendations.
Has your brand been the subject of unwarranted appearance on a web site or social media site?