Another Take in the Debate over Advertising on News

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • Mar 16, 2022 1:01:39 PM

There has been a lot of debate about where news fits into a brand safety strategy, especially as war rages in Eastern Europe. CNN’s recent wrapping of an upbeat ad around scenes of air-raid sirens screaming over Kyiv, in particular, has brands, agencies, publishers, and everyone else in the digital advertising ecosystem weighing the pros and cons of news.

While many have advocated continued support for news even when it covers negative topics such as war, Connie del Bono, biddable director at Croud, has stepped into the debate with an opinion piece on that suggests taking a more conservative approach. That approach is summed up by del Bono herself in the piece's introduction: “It all begins with a really thorough ‘negatives’ list.”

Among del Bono’s suggestions are the utilization of negative keywords on social media, paid search, and programmatic, something del Bono says advertisers have not used as often as they should. That, writes del Bono, is “a major miss,” adding that such an approach can add “an additional layer of brand safety.” However, when using such an approach, del Bono advocates “being sensitive to human interest and world events.”

When it comes to programmatic, del Bono advocates “a three-pronged approach” that, in addition to the negative keyword list, includes “a wide negative URL & App list” and a “two-level brand safety filter applied at the account level.” Doing so, she writes, “will ensure you’ve thoroughly tackled programmatic.”

In support of that debate over the role of news in advertising campaigns, the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) has compiled tools and insights to help everyone in the advertising world plan, implement, and assess where news fits into an advertising plan. And for more on how to implement a brand safety practice, be sure to learn more about the BSI’s Brand Safety Officer certification for individuals and Brand Safe Workforce certification for organizations.


Photo by Obi - @pixel6propix on Unsplash

Topics: Brand Safety, Brand Suitability, exclusion list, keyword blocking, war, News