Two Brand Safety Takeaways from 2022 AdMonsters Ops Event

Posted by Brand Safety Institute • Jun 9, 2022 5:00:00 AM

AdExchanger reported on a couple of things from the recently concluded AdMonsters Ops gathering in New York City that should be of interest to those focusing on brand safety.

First up: James Hercher’s story highlighted calls by three standards organizations — the W3C,, and the IAB Tech Lab — for everyone in the digital advertising world to be more involved in the processes required to safeguard the entire industry. According to Hercher, the CEO of the IAB Tech Lab, Tony Katsur, told attendees, “We are an industry built on misaligned incentives,” and “We need to move faster. We are running out of time.”

Katsur's words echo what IAB Tech Lab Senior Vice President of Product Management and Global Programs, Shailley Singh, recently told the Brand Safety Institute’s Brand Safety Officer-in-Residence Louis Jones: “The good players have to take the lead, to weed out the bad players. If the good players are not in the game, the bad players will continue playing.”

See Louis Jones’ full interview with Shailley Singh here.

Hercher's story also cited president Mike Racic as saying, “We need publishers involved,” adding that if publishers stay out of the fray, rules governing the digital ad ecosystem will be “written by lawmakers and policymakers who barely understand the most basic advertising.”

"There is a louder and louder call for transparency within our industry to make it a safe, clean environment to do business," said AdMonsters Strategic Advisor and BSI Advisory Board member Rob Beeler. "I see a number of specific people and organizations pushing for new standards to accomplish this. However, I still would like to hear more voices in these discussions. A lot of companies are leaving it to a few to make foundational changes to digital advertising. It's time to speak up."

Also this week at AdMonsters Ops, AdExchanger’s Anthony Vargas reported on Vice Media and WebMD (among others) calling for advertisers to do away with blocklists and keyword blocking because of the demonetizing effect such tools have on legitimate news and content. With those sites covering hot-button topics such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, or even health-related topics such as breast cancer, keyword lists keep overly cautious advertisers from underwriting important information sources.

Those publishers’ calls to action reflect the way Brand Safety Officers should approach challenging situations according to A.J. Brown, Manager of Brand Safety and Monetization — and certified Brand Safety Officer — at Twitter. Brown told BSO-in-Residence Jones that, “My advice to BSOs in times of crisis…is to be surgical.” Brown continued, “Surgery is done with a scalpel and not a hack saw. Hack saws in brand safety lead to news publishers being deprived of revenue during moments when they’re most needed.”

See Louis Jones’ discussion with A.J. Brown about the role of the BSO here.

The sentiments coming out of the 2022 AdMonsters Ops event make it clear that everyone in the digital advertising supply chain needs to play a role in the fight for brand safety. And from publishers getting involved with standardizing guidelines to BSOs taking a more nuanced approach to brand safety, the BSI can has the tools to help people at every step in that fight. From checklists and industry research to education and certifications for individuals and organizations, the BSI has the resources to help everyone make the digital advertising world safer for all.

Topics: Brand Safety, Block lists, Ad Blocking, Standards, exclusion list, keyword blocking, Ad Security Vendors, Inclusion List, News, IAB Tech Lab, W3C,