Protecting The Brand: Would You Pay a Premium For Safe Placement?

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For as long as content and advertising have coexisted, marketers have worried about placement and brand safety. Now that so much diverse digital is part of the internet advertising conversation, those concerns have only become more heightened.

So concerned are marketers with brand safety, 57% of senior executives and 46% of managers and directors would pay a premium for safe placement, according to a recent study.

The Journal of Advertising Research released its findings on digital campaign safety risks, asking, in the document’s title, “Is Your Brand Protected?” According to lead author Ross Johnson, “everyone’s concerned about this, but it does seem like executives are more concerned about this than the managers or the individuals that are the ones that actually have to implement these practices.”

Of the experiments conducted during the study, one of the milder “brand safety” experiments involved pairing a 15-second McDonald’s ad midroll during both a “positive news story” (friendly interactions between children and a police officer) and a “negative news story” (a poor service experience between children and a dentist). Both stories “greatly impacted how people felt about the brand.”

“If your ad is being displayed in these negative environments,” Johnson says, “it basically erodes attitudinal loyalty, erodes brand equity, and it decreases people’s willingness to pay for that.”

As far as protection goes, Marketing Dive pointed to a few considerations, from not advertising on certain platforms to keyword blocking to, potentially, AI.

“Are you almost being too aggressive and then giving up those potential exposures as well?” Johnson asks. “Frankly, I think keyword blocking can get better… AI is going to present potentially more issues with this. But I think it also could be a solution toward this as well.”



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