4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites—how can we improve safety?

by | Aug 30, 2018 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from buy-side ad platform Sizmek reveals the extent of brand safety concerns among marketers, with 38 percent admitting to having delivered an ad on a controversial or unsafe web page.

The study, which surveyed over 500 decision-making brand marketers across Europe and the U.S., also showed that only 61 percent of marketers currently have a third-party brand safety solution/partner in place on their digital campaign.

4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites—how can we improve safety?

This new research from Sizmek is the first in a series of three reports focusing on the challenges that marketers face in the current digital landscape.

Barriers to brand safety

  • Finding the right solution: Brand marketers are also struggling to cope with the pressure to serve in brand safe environments, with 64 percent finding it challenging to implement an effective brand safety solution and 57 percent stating their current solution is too expensive.
  • Impact on performance: 64 percent of respondents said that achieving brand safety on campaigns negatively impacts the performance. 71 percent find it difficult to achieve reach while delivering to the right audience in the right context.
  • Impact of consumer privacy regulations: 77 percent of marketers predict that data regulations such as Europe’s GDPR will make targeting audiences using third-party data increasingly difficult. This means that advanced contextual targeting will become essential to build out new audiences.

4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites—how can we improve safety?

New priorities for marketers

  • The right partners: With 62 percent of respondents admitting that the digital media landscape has become too complex, it is clear that marketers are looking for more efficient and transparent relationships with ad tech vendors.
    • 64 percent prioritize reducing the number of vendors in their supply chain
    • 76 percent prioritize getting more transparency for digital display inventor
    • 63 percent agree that the ‘walled gardens’ don’t offer enough inventory transparency
  • Taking responsibility: When exploring who is responsible for brand safety, 38% of marketers say that pressure sits with the brand itself, whereas only 24% of marketers believe primary responsibility should lie with demand-side platforms and other ad tech vendors.
  • Investing in brand safety: 80 percent of marketers say that achieving both audience and contextual targeting at scale is either a critical or high priority in the coming year. Among those marketers, 78 percent plan to improve their contextual targeting capabilities in the same period.

4 in 10 brands deliver ads on unsafe sites—how can we improve safety?

“The digital media ecosystem is complex and fragmented, so it is no surprise that marketers are prioritizing efficiency and transparency from their partners,” said Hardeep Bindra, VP of product management and real-time decisioning services at Sizmek, in a news release. “These survey results confirm what we’ve been hearing from our clients about simplifying supply chain and the challenges they face with brand safety and a complicated vendor landscape.”

Download the full report here.

Sizmek worked with a third-party research firm, Qualtrics, surveying 522 participants in Spring 2018 working within the marketing or advertising function of a brand. The participants were decisionmakers or influencers for the advertising and marketing budget for their organizations in 2018.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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