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Many Marketers Say Media Buyers Are Responsible for Brand Safety

But some take matters into their own hands

October 5, 2017 | Advertising & Marketing

New data finds that a majority of advertisers are holding media buyers accountable for brand safety. But they believe communicating their brand identity to agencies and ad buying networks can help.

According to an August 2017 study by the CMO Council and Dow Jones, two-thirds of brand marketers worldwide place onus on media buying firms to ensure proper ad placement.

Organizations/Entities that Are Responsible for Ensuring Proper Ad Placement* According to Senior Marketers Worldwide, Aug 2017 (% of respondents)

But marketers have also taken brand safety into their own hands to ensure reputable placement of their digital ads. Brand message, identity and associations are being communicated so that agencies and ad buying networks have a better sense of what’s appropriate.

“There isn’t a world where we could produce something on behalf of a brand without verifying it with data and then validating it after the program has run,” said Adam Puchalsky, senior vice president and managing director at UM Studios, during a panel discussion on bridging the gap between advertisers and publishers.

“It’s our job on behalf of the client to understand the client’s brand. When we partner with them, the content studio is able to give something that is authentic to the audience, and it’s our job to make sure it’s true to the brand,” Puchalsky said.

Half of marketers in the CMO Council survey said they were developing guidelines for their agency and ad buying networks.

Unsurprisingly, consumers don’t respond well to poorly or damagingly placed ads. CMO Council found that two-thirds of consumers would no longer use a brand after a negative ad experience, while more than one-third said their perception of a brand changes if its ads appear on questionable sites.

What is certain is that absolute brand safety is not yet a guarantee.

“The gap is actually in trust and relationship. If there is trust between two partners, whether that be a brand and a publisher, a brand and an ad agency, [or] a brand and a person, that is where the gap will be bridged,” Puchalsky said.

Monica Melton

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