Why Brand Safety Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg

Why Brand Safety Is Just The Tip Of The Iceberg
SHARE
THIS



With many brands still giving Google’s YouTube a wide-berth, Matt Newcomb (pictured below), general manager of Inskin Media, argues that brand safety is the tip of an iceberg that’s been looming on the horizon for a long time.

Matthew Newcomb

Brand safety – it’s not going away, with media outlets reporting that some of Australia’s biggest brands, including Nestle, Foxtel and Telstra, are still giving Google’s YouTube a wide berth.

Many, many words have been offered upon the subject in recent weeks, but it’s important the industry be honest with itself about one thing. Brand safety is the tip of an iceberg that’s been looming on the horizon for a long time.

The brand safety debate is not just about placement – it’s about transparency, the middleman and value creation – all of which takes place under the banner of improving how advertisers reach consumers.

Over the last few months, there has been huge focus on the platforms. YouTube has taken a good kicking in the media. Frankly, this is hardly surprising. If 400 hours of content are uploaded every minute and only subject to automated checking, people will find their way around the checks.

And to be fair, brand safety is not a new digital phenomenon – there has long been low quality ‘five athletes poo their pants’ or ‘you’ll be amazed by how…’ videos coupled with pre-rolls. But the platforms are highly attractive places to advertise when they hold so much audience, data and cheap inventory, right?

In today’s digital ad ecosystem, impressions remain king. We have collectively done a poor job in explaining how brands can be built online and instead have focused on using digital for direct response. In turn, this has generated a tsunami of cheap, low-impact advertising formats across a variety of digital platforms.

Chasing bulk impressions and using increasingly automated processes to do it has left advertisers uncertain of where their brands are actually appearing. Some of them are now choosing not to surf the wave that the media industry has pushed them onto.

All that being said, it has recently been reported that Google and Facebook now take 20 per cent of the world’s advertising revenue. This is an incredible stat – not just for the speed with which this has occurred, but because so much has been built off the back of content provided to them for free, either from publishers or from consumers.

The traditional media (many of whom we partner with) invest vast sums of money to create amazing content using professional journalists and presenters. There’s a very big difference between advertising in a premium professionally created or curated environment versus a placement next to a homemade cat video (or for that matter a hate video). Sure, the viewer might be the same, but is the outcome for the advertiser?

There is a bigger point too. The drive towards the digital duopoly has pushed so much revenue away from the traditional publishers that we are witnessing one quarter of Fairfax’s newsroom on the brink of redundancy. If news journalism can’t survive the platform onslaught, who will hold governments and businesses to account?  One thing we know is that it won’t be Facebook.

As much as this sounds bleak, my belief is that fake news and the brand safety debate will bring about a rebalance, with advertisers making larger investments in the ‘quality internet’. Professional content is vital to produce better advertising environments, which will capture the imagination of people who don’t inherently use the internet to see adverts.

There’s also a chance here for the digital advertising industry to shift the way it operates, which means better measurement and more robust reporting will need to be introduced. Watch Jon Mew from the IAB’s AWE session on living in a digital world, where he talks about human engagement rather than just clicks and acquisition.

When this whole debate is over and a new way forward has been charted, digital advertising might need its own brand campaign to comeback from the damage. Brand safety has become a flashpoint for much bigger issues that have been at play in our industry for a long time, and we need to fix the root cause more than simply treat the symptoms.

Latest News

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban

Australia’s leading health and wellbeing brand IsoWhey has launched its latest national campaign, ‘#YouGotThis’. Created by Urban, the campaign highlights the real-life struggles Australians face on their weight management journey. A journey made easier through perseverance, and a little help from IsoWhey. The #YouGotThis campaign is IsoWhey’s biggest marketing investment to date, with executions running […]

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe

In this guest post, creative and strategy director at WE Buchan, David Coupland (pictured below), takes a look at the fallout from Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign and says what it also does is show the importance brands now play in our lives… Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Optimise Branded Keywords
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How To Optimise Branded Keywords

In this guest post, CEO of Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below) talks the value of branded keywords for marketers and offer his tips on getting the best from yours… Branded keywords are an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for many large businesses. Trading on the recognition and equity of a brand’s name, some of the country’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Expertise First, Influence Second: When Influence Is A By-Product Of Expertise

In this guest post, Taryn Williams, CEO and founder of influencer and creative talent marketplace theright.fit, explains why influence should be a by-product of success, not the foundation for it… Like any form of advertising and promotion, influencer marketing is not without its controversies. Earlier this year Australia’s Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, ordered […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience

Ford Australia has unveiled a new innovation that showcases the iconic Ford Mustang through a collaboration Facebook and Instagram. The interactive campaign invites Facebook and Instagram communities to take part in a live poll to identify Australia’s ultimate Mustang design. Targeting performance car fans, along with design lovers and image-conscious consumers, Ford and its partner […]