In recent years, brand safety has become one of the priorities of marketers, who have had to increase control of what they do and how and where they do it to ensure that they do not put the brand in danger.
The YouTube scandal of a few years ago was a perfect example of how the market had become more and more complicated: Advertisers discovered that their ads and brands had been appearing before the viewing of extremist videos, damaging their reputations. The different stories of advertising blocks (in Spain, the most recent was that of Big Brother) also serve to understand how brands must react faster than ever to these problems.
But what exactly threatens the identity of brands and what should they do to avoid these potential problems? Although the answer to that question may seem simple, in reality it has become much more complicated. For brands, the potential risks and problematic elements are becoming more and more diverse.
Not only has the internet multiplied the things that Buy Mobile Database can happen badly and over which brands have little control, but also the different social and context changes have increased the potential risks. Fake news, for example, have become a very serious potential problem for brands (both as protagonists and advertisers on the sites that spread them), as the coronavirus crisis has opened the door to new potential problems.
The latest GroupM analysis of brand identity risks and reputational threats has shown what they are showing. Not only have more risks appeared, but the start of the year has been especially difficult. This first half of 2020 has been historic and brands have been dragged down by the effects of the new situation. They have had no choice but to survive this new game scenario and accept that the situation has become more and more complex.
Not only has the moment created more complexity, but so has technology, social changes and even the problems that mark the political agenda. If a few years ago the brand safety problems were limited to what happened with internet advertising and with your ads being able to appear in a questionable video on YouTube, right now it is a question entirely.
As more and more channels are digitizing their advertising and as programmatic is settling in more and more settings, the potential for problems has expanded to more and more channels. Televisions are now connected, outdoor advertising has gone digital, and new advertising scenarios have appeared that use digital formats such as audio or gaming. In all of them, the door has also been opened to brand security problems, problems that will increase in the future because these scenarios are seen as an emerging space for potential failures.
A difficult start to the year
To this must be added how data protection laws have complicated things and how the disappearance of cookies is making the online market more complex. Advertising is in a period of transformation, but what happens in periods of transformation is that it is not very well known what happens and how. The infrastructure of the advertising industry is in a period of change and those periods are always complex and complicated time.
A lot has come into focus in the first half of the year, as Best database provider GroupM's Chief Brand Safety Officer John Montgomery explains. All these elements are, each one of them, complex opportunities and challenges for brand strategy and for brand security. Together, they have turned the start of the year into an obstacle course for marketers.
The solutions they used to survive changes and problems were not perfect. For example, to avoid brand safety issues that some coronavirus content could pose, many brands blocked all related keywords in programmatic advertising. With this, however, they also erased at a stroke all the legitimate and quality content, which was the majority and which was what consumers were reading or watching en masse.