AdWeek: Marketers, Agencies, Platforms Need to Go on Offense

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • Jan 17, 2023 6:00:00 AM

David Kaplan, co-owner of Brand Newsroom, penned an article for AdWeek recently that takes a look back at the events in brand safety in 2022 and, more importantly, speculates about what might lie ahead for brand safety in 2023. “If 2022 was the year marketers, agencies and platforms played defense on brand safety and suitability,” wrote Kaplan, “2023 is shaping up to be a time when marketers go on the offense.”

“The first step is for brands to define safety and suitability standards,” Kaplan quoted Marc Brodherson, senior partner at McKinsey & Co., as saying. “These standards should build on core safety standards to include brand suitability.” And those standards need to be transmitted throughout the advertising ecosystem, said Brodherson. “Brands should then syndicate standards with media partners and technology vendors to ensure transparency around expectations.”

Lou Paskalis, formerly president of MMA Global, said corporations need to establish a “standards checklist” outside the marketing division, much like the procurement function, to better define the range of acceptability for certain types of inventory that meet company values versus better CPMs. “You need to have a map and say ‘Look, here’s the risk we’ve accepted.'” On the topic of risk, Paskalis cited “four kinds [of risk] that are managed below the CEO level.” In Paskalis’ view, “The fifth one, however, is where you start to see musical chairs at the CEO level. That’s reputational risk.”

“I guarantee,” Kaplan quotes Paskalis as saying, “no CEO is going to say, ‘Oh no, I want more media. I’m very risk-happy.’ And so we’re just now quantifying that. We’re just now pricing that in. Five years from now, that’s going to be the norm.”

David Berkowitz, founder of Serial Marketers told Kaplan, “There are some obvious controls to be part of a brand’s toolkit, but brands also need to determine what it’s worth for them.” In other words, what are the set of processes and resources at play to align all of your corporate goals for reach, growth, and reputational risk? Many major advertisers and agencies have methods to audit brand values and relate them to suitability goals for brands. Make sure you include this important step to avoid potential mishaps down the road.

The Brand Safety Institute (BSI) offers a framework for a brand safety plan that includes the important step. Additionally BSI has a selection of informative videos covering specific areas/topics related to brand safety.

Photo by BoliviaInteligente on Unsplash


Topics: Brand Safety, Brand Suitability