MediaRadar Blog

Transparency & Trust: A Discussion about Brand Safety

Transparency & Trust: A Discussion about Brand Safety


YouTube’s advertising scandal from earlier this year shined a much needed spotlight on the lingering issues of brand safety and transparency in the advertising industry, sparking the conversation.

MediaRadar’s latest event was a panel aimed at keeping the conversation around brand safety moving forward.


Transparency & Trust:
What the Future Looks Like in a Programmatic World

MediaRadar CEO, Todd Krizelman, was joined on stage by members of Business Insider, GroupM, Sizmek, LinkedIn, Vox Media (Concert), and The Trade Desk.


The panelists spoke about brand safety, transparency, trust, the current state of programmatic, and what the future looks like for the industry as a whole.

Panelists provided the attendees with a bevy of thoughtful insights and takeaways.


Below are our key takeaways from the panel:


1. Brand safety is a financial risk.

Joe Barone of GroupM stated perhaps the most startling fact of the night – that clients are spending half of their ad dollars on ads that are not viewable, appearing in sections of sites that cannot be seen by viewers.

In this case, money that should be going toward ad placements is not, due to fraud.

The affected advertisers get no return for half of their investment, and therefore lose not only trust, but also brand equity.


2. Make transparency the standard.

A common theme throughout the night was normalizing transparency.

Panelists repeatedly mentioned the need for publishers to prove to advertisers that they’re in a brand safe environment.

Being able to prove a brand safe environment relies on transparency.

By giving advertisers a window into their ad inventory, it’s easier to prove that their inventory is in good standing, real, and viewable.

It’s a way to minimize risk for advertisers looking to purchase ad space.

Michael Caprio from Sizmek even stated that his company is “moving towards a 100% transparent marketplace.”


3. Numbers are back up since YouTube’s ad scandal.

Earlier this year, Youtube’s advertising scandal added many questions to the already murky waters of brand safety.

By April of 2017, the number of brands buying programmatic had dropped by 17% compared to the year prior.

The good news moving forward, however, is that, despite the 17% decline, programmatic is once again trending upward.

By October of 2017, programmatic buys were up 39% compared to last year:


4. The future of programmatic…

Our panelists believe that the necessary technology is available to make complete transparency possible, it’s simply a matter of implementing it.

The overall feeling of the panelists is that, the more we (publishers/advertisers) know, the more we all stand to benefit.

Each panelist contributed unique and thoughtful insights, leading to a terrific conversation on brand safety.

What’s most important, is that we continue the conversation, and create a safer world for all advertisers.

Watch the full panel here:


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