Four Things to Know About Brand Safety

08.27.2019 Dan Glicksman

Why Brand Safety Matters to Your Business & What to Expect From Your Media Partner


Trust – we rely on this word in every waking moment of our day. Our home, our work, our relationships. If you are a local business owner, you trust your workers to do right by your rules and customs, your suppliers to do right by your contracts, your advertising partners to do right by your brand. And when it comes to your brand today, it doesn’t take much in this fast-moving world of information to swing the pendulum of public opinion in one direction or another.

Even as the smallest of local companies, you can run the risk of exposing your brand to potential nightmares if you aren’t careful with your online ad placement.



You’ve probably seen news stories over the past few months about big brands pulling their ads from YouTube. From the British Government to big brands like AT&T1, advertising budgets were fully pulled after their ads appeared over videos posted by extremists.

The equation is simple – users upload as much as 300 hours of content to YouTube every minute2 – think about this for a moment. The logistics to managing the deserving vs undeserving nature of posted content is no small feat, and while we may trust Google as a brand to manage its YouTube channel and posted video content to perfection, can you really trust the level of control they may have for inserting your brand alongside this giant wave of video content?



As a business owner, your goal is to both enhance and protect your brand, but not every type of media as we have seen will do both with 100% confidence if the right precautions aren’t taken. While placing on a platform like YouTube still affords you all the tremendous advantages of telling your story with video in an engrossing emotional manner – you run a brand safety risk, effectively rolling the dice on what it may appear you are sponsoring.

How can you minimize your brand safety risk? By working with the right advertising partner to identify the right advertising options for your business.



Overall, Cable TV advertising is still your safest choice when it comes to keeping your brand image secure. TV advertising provides all of the advantages of video – with all of the protection of selecting where your story is told. With a wide variety of networks and programs, you have the ability to choose where and when your message is presented to consumers, giving you the ability to protect and enhance your brand with what is still considered one of the most trusted forms of media.

But in today’s advertising landscape, a multi-screen message (think: TV + online) is often imperative to the success of local businesses.  How can you enhance and protect your brand online?



So, when you’re placing your multi-screen media buy, what should you look for in a good online advertising partner? A good partner should bring a multi-layered method to combating fraudulent activity and have trusted measures in place to keep your brand safe – and not placed near inappropriate content.

Good partners also build trust by taking a thoughtful approach to your online ad placements. For example, these partners consider capabilities like competitive separation (ensuring your ad isn’t running back-to-back with a competitor) and global blacklists (guaranteeing your ads don’t run on sites that have fraudulent traffic and controversial content), maximizing the effectiveness of your buy.

Before moving forward with your online media buy, make sure to discuss the following with any provider you choose:

  1. COMBATING FRAUD: Combating against all types of fraud on any screen. This includes fake traffic, pre-roll and synthetic locations. (Imagine ad metrics reporting fake impressions that were “viewed” by software rather than a human.)
  2. BRAND PROTECTION: Protecting your brand against not only inappropriate content, but also from environments that don’t align with your campaign or brand image. Website and app-level targeting will keep you safe.
  3. THIRD-PARTY VERIFICATION: Third-party verification companies provide essential relationships to add an extra layer of protection.
  4. RESPONSIVENESS: News happens (fast!), and your campaign might end up next to negative press. Make sure your partner is quick to respond and take action.

With proper creative messaging and placement strategy, online advertising can offer any local business tremendous returns, but not all providers are created equal. Your brand is everything – and guarding its integrity is not to be taken lightly. Going with a trusted local name like Cox Media ensures you get all the benefits of a partner who lives and breathes in your locale, but who also knows how to get the most of your online advertising buy, without the potential negative surprises. Trust in your brand begins with trust in the online platforms you choose backed by a trusted local partner.




About the Author

Dan Glicksman

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