In A World of Fake News, Marketers Search for Brand Safe Websites
“May you live in interesting times,” goes the Chinese proverb. Some would say Chinese curse. These are incredibly interesting times in digital advertising. Ad fraud. #fakenews. Lack of transparency. The CMO of the world’s largest advertiser calling the problem, “crappy advertising accompanied by even crappier viewing experiences.” P&G’s Marc Pritchard clearly threw the gauntlet down for digital advertising platforms.
Trusted Media Brands and Advertiser Perceptions commissioned a survey that spoke to nearly 300 client-side marketers and ad agency executives about their concerns for digital marketing in 2017.
We found three things:
- Audience matters most;
- Accuracy and relevancy are key; and
- Advertisers want transparency.
The key takeaway is that now, more than ever, marketers need brand safe environments that offer targeted audiences to ensure reliable and effective campaigns. Another one of our key takeaways is the answer to this statement: “Given recent news concerning credibility of digital sources, it’s even more important to advertise on the right site.” 81% of respondents agreed that a “brand safe” environment for advertising is a high priority. While marketers like the convenience and efficiency of the open exchange, they’re realizing that their brands can’t thrive unless they’re in premium environments.
Reaching the right audience is a challenge for digital buyers, but transparency was also a common theme. Interestingly, marketers were muted with their outlook on programmatic, saying they didn’t think programmatic transparency would increase over the coming months. This is a possible roadblock for the burgeoning ad delivery technology.
However, brand safety is extremely challenging to guarantee – 71% of respondents say that it’s difficult to ensure brand safe environments while buying programmatically on the open exchange.
Over the next 12 months, half of digital/mobile advertisers plan to increase their spending on audience data targeting.
Regardless of your position in the advertising ecosystem – fake news is a problem that's giving marketers second thoughts about programmatic solutions. Our survey conveys the market’s need for reassurance and publishers they can trust to host their brand’s content within a safe environment. It’s ultimately up to publishers to protect and vet the ads they are guaranteeing will appear in a brand safe place. And we see this as an opportunity for premium publishers like Trusted Media Brands. Marketers are realizing that their brands can’t thrive unless they’re in premium environments.
While technology has changed the media industry in dramatic ways, TMBI’s approach to providing trusted, safe environments for advertising has not. When brands work with TMBI properties, such as Taste of Home, The Family Handyman and Reader's Digest, they are assured their advertising/marketing messages won't inadvertently appear in an unsavory media environment. In fact, 66 percent of the survey participants agree TMBI's brands are a safe place to serve their ads.
Rich Sutton is chief revenue officer of Trusted Media Brands, Inc., a visionary, brand-driven multiplatform media company, home to iconic brands including Taste of Home, the world’s largest circulation food media brand, Reader’s Digest and The Family Handyman, America’s leading source for DIY, among others.