The Brand Safety Dilemma: Looking Beyond Scale and Efficiency to Quality, Context and Common Sense - eMarketer
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The Brand Safety Dilemma: Looking Beyond Scale and Efficiency to Quality, Context and Common Sense

eMarketer Report

By: eMarketer

Published: February 06, 2018

Jump to: Executive Summary | Table of Contents | List of Charts

Executive Summary

Concerns about brand safety are nothing new—one well-worn example is that of an airline that wants to make sure its ads don’t show up next to news of an air tragedy. Everyone from marketers to consumers can easily understand why brands don’t want to associate with content that makes them look bad in any way. Still, the past 18 months have been full of brand safety controversies, suggesting that some of these concerns fell by the wayside and brands are waking up to them again.

  • YouTube, with its long tail containing controversial video content, and Facebook, with its Feed tainted with “fake news,” were significant sources of brand safety scandals in 2017, but US advertisers continue to pour more than nine in 10 new digital ad dollars into the Facebook-Google duopoly.
  • The rise of audience targeting and people-based marketing has allowed brands to follow their customers wherever they go—but that has led those brands into some unsavory places, and now many are looking to whitelists, blacklists and private marketplaces to get back out.
  • The flight to quality is accompanied by renewed interest in contextual targeting, with publishers and platforms ready to remind brands that the right context can also boost ad effectiveness.
  • Virtually all brands are making changes in how they operate in digital media to be safer going forward. This includes demanding more transparency and investing more ad dollars in quality environments.

"More than nine in 10 US CMOs surveyed by Teads in November 2017 had already begun making changes to their digital strategy due to brand safety concerns."

Table of Contents

The Dangers of Digital Media

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Carving Out a Safe Space

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Staying Safe

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22 charts are included in the full report:

The Brand Safety Dilemma: Looking Beyond Scale and Efficiency to Quality, Context and Common Sense

Ways in Which US CMOs Have Changed Their Digital Strategy to Address Concerns About Brand Safety, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

The Dangers of Digital Media

Leading Digital Media Buying Issues According to US Digital Ad Decision-Makers, June 2017 (% of respondents)

The Duopoly Weathers the Storm

Facebook Ad Revenues in North America, Q3 2015-Q4 2017 (billions)

US YouTube Net Ad Revenues, 2016-2019 (billions, % change and % of Google net ad revenues)

Expected Change in Digital Ad Spending on Select Digital Ad Platforms According to US Agency and Marketing Professionals, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Allocation of Digital Ad Spending According to Advertisers Worldwide, by Channel/Format, FY 2017 & FY 2018 (% of total)

Top 10 Digital Brands, Ranked by US Unique Users, Nov 2017

Average Time Spent per Day with Video by US Adults, by Device, 2015-2019 (hrs:mins)

Share of Daily Time Spent Viewing Video Content Among US Teens, by Channel, H2 2015-H2 2017 (% of respondents)

Programmatic Gets Private

US Programmatic Digital Display Ad Spending, by Transaction Method, 2015-2019 (billions)

US Client-Side Marketers Who Are Concerned About Brand Safety Issues When Buying Programmatically, July 2017 (% of respondents)

Timeframe During Which Brands Worldwide Have Taken Select Actions to Manage Brand Safety, May 2017 (% of respondents)

Drawbacks to Using Whitelists and Private Marketplaces According to US Advertisers, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Advertisers Remember Context—and Quality

US Marketers Who Plan to Reduce Ad Spending with Partners that Include Unsafe Sites vs. Increase Ad Spending with Brand-Safe Publishers, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Ways in Which US CMOs Have Changed Their Digital Strategy to Address Concerns About Brand Safety, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Carving Out a Safe Space

US CMOs' Concerns About Brand Safety, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)

Areas that Are Positively Affected by Advertising in a Brand-Safe Environment According to US Digital Ad Decision-Makers, June 2017 (% of respondents)

Websites/Platforms that Deliver a Brand-Safe Environment According to US Digital Ad Decision-Makers, June 2017 (% of respondents)

Deciding to Get Political

Importance of Brands Taking a Stand on Social/Political Issues According to US Internet Users, by Political Affiliation, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Actions Taken by US Internet Users When They Agree vs. Disagree with a Brand's Stance on Social/Political Issues, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Social/Political Issues on Which US Internet Users Believe Brands Should Take a Stand, Sep 2017 (% of respondents)

Staying Safe

Ways in Which Concerns About Brand Safety Can Be Addressed According to US CMOs, Nov 2017 (% of respondents)