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Brand Safety Concerns Rising Among Europe's Programmatic Ad Sellers

Share who see safety as a challenge doubles in a year

August 29, 2017 | Advertising

Programmatic advertising has become commonplace in Central and Eastern Europe. But brand safety remains a primary concern among programmatic ad buyers, and is a rising anxiety for ad sellers, according to a recent study by ad tech firm TailWind.

The firm polled senior executives from both the buyer and seller sides of the ad ecosystem between December 2016 and March 2017 in Central and Eastern Europe (excluding Poland, Russia and Ukraine). It found that a fear of ads appearing on “undesirable sites” was the leading concern about programmatic advertising among buyers. Nearly a quarter of that cohort considered the brand safety of programmatic ads a challenge, a rate essentially unchanged from the previous year’s study.

There was a much more noticeable shift among programmatic ad sellers. In this year’s study, nearly 24% of sellers thought brand safety was a challenge, making it their top concern. That was almost double the percentage from a year earlier.

Top 3 Benefits vs. Challenges of Programmatic Advertising According to Ad Buyers and Sellers in Central and Eastern Europe, March 2017 (% of respondents)

“Transparency, brand safety and measurement are becoming even more important, and they are now a shared concern between the demand and the supply side,” said Thomai Gklarou-Stavropoulou, TailWind’s international product director.

Nonetheless, concerns about brand safety and a lack of transparency about where ads have appeared seem to be having little effect on the use of programmatic advertising. TailWind found nearly 76% of ad buyers surveyed used programmatic, along with almost 83% of sellers.

Moreover, among the ad buyers polled who didn’t currently use programmatic advertising, nearly 74% said they would consider doing so within a year.

For those buyers still on the fence about programmatic, the biggest deterrent wasn’t brand safety or a lack of transparency about placement. Instead, it was a lack of qualified staff needed to institute automated ad buying practices, a situation nearly 40% of respondents said they suffered from.

Many ad buyers in Central and Eastern Europe appear ready to overlook the dangers of brand safety in favor of the perceived advantages of programmatic advertising, such as reduced waste of both ad budgets and impressions, and better targeted ads.

—Cliff Annicelli


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