Magnetic drew attention in a national news story published on Reuters last week. The article Advertisers seek more control after unintended Breitbart spot covers an important and controversial topic: How can advertisers gain control over where online ads are placed? This question is garnering intense media attention recently due to the out lash from advertisers in seeing their ads appear in unintended places, like Breitbart News or other hate-filled websites with questionable reputations.
Brand safety is a hot button issue, and Breitbart News is increasingly under fire as a key culprit railing against it. The extreme website, known for propagating hate speech, has become a concern for some advertisers and the automated exchanges they work with. Because of the nature of Breitbart News, advertisers are working hard to make sure their ads do not appear on this website, and others like it. To block ads from appearing in unintended places, brands have the ability to blacklist websites in which they do not want their ads to appear, but unfortunately, the solution to this problem isn’t as easy as it should be.
As Magnetic discovered, ads bought and placed for a client continued to show up on Breitbart, even though Magnetic had taken all of the proper steps to blacklist the website from serving ads. Apparently, through web addresses owned by Disqus, the company that powers Breitbart’s comment section, ads were still able to be placed on the site, unbeknownst to Magnetic and to the client.
There is also the question on whether or not ad exchanges sometimes hide the URLs of the publishers where the ads appear.
Programmatic advertising was developed to automate the ad buying process, but with all automation, there seems to come a lack of control and transparency.
According to the article, “programmatic ad buying keeps costs low by allowing advertisers to automatically buy and place digital spots through third-party exchanges, but brands may give up control over where the ads run.
When advertisers buy programmatic ads on exchanges, they or their agencies create campaigns targeting certain audiences. They send that information to buyers of ad inventory, known as demand-side platforms, which automatically bid for spots on hundreds of exchanges.
The exchanges then place those ads on websites.
Therefore, advertisers and the companies they work with often place brand safety measures around their bids and may exclude sites with questionable reputations.”
Due to the nature of programmatic advertising and how ads are automatically placed, advertisers typically view programmatic as a benefit by keeping costs low, but at an exchange for transparency and control in where ads are placed.
So how do agencies and advertising companies take forward steps to ensure brand safety for their clients?
For Magnetic, we have partnered with industry-leading firms such as Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify, and are committed to brand-conscious ad buying practices, and we perform highly vigilant campaign monitoring.
As ad formats and platforms continue to evolve, we are constantly evaluating new mitigation strategies and tools to ensure the best ad placements possible for our customers and their brands.
Magnetic is dedicated to providing brand safe environments for advertisers.
We are committed to ensuring the best service we can provide, and Magnetic is looking forward to bringing brand safety and change to the forefront in this complicated and fast-moving industry.
Magnetic is a digital marketing and artificial intelligence company. We use machine learning and AI to deliver smarter, faster, and more effective advertising. Our powerful AI platform continuously analyzes the attributes of 320 million live user profiles alongside real-time inventory supply and bid opportunities to deliver highly performant and profitable campaigns for our clients.