Posted by IN Articles

Brand Safety: Protecting Your Brand from Negative Associations

28 September 2017
brand safety

The advertising platform you choose to advertise on - Google, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat; wherever it is that you're getting eyeballs. Are all currently scrambling to address the issue of Brand Safety.

The issue has become so urgent that many marketers are saying that 2017 will be remembered for online advertising's brand safety crisis.

Brand safety is all about making sure that a brand is not tarnished by a loose association that goes against brand message, corporate values and/or mission. 

For example…

You may remember the outrage that was expressed by many large brands when their ads were being shown next to videos promoting extremist views and hate speech.

The issue of brand safety is not a new one, and has challenged many CEOs. Toyota has struggled with brand damage by association for years - every time extremists are shown on the nightly news driving around in their vehicles.

In an environment where consumers control the commercial transaction, guilt by association can cost your company millions and be responsible for a significant drop in market share.

So when the biggest brands on the planet express serious concern about an advertising platform's ability to protect their brand from a negative association, the threat gets taken seriously.

A lot of advertising revenue is at stake if brand safety can not be assured.

The recent run of advertising placement problems have pushed events such as The Brand Safety Summit into the spotlight.

It has also exposed the problems with programmatic advertising.

The danger of relying on programmatic advertising without paying attention to what's going on - is that you're likely to be spending more than necessary over time, you don’t know where your advertising content is going and you're leaving optimization up to algorithms that aren't coded in your favour.

"There's no magic button you can push to ensure that your brand is placed next to brand safe content". -  Jared Levy (AdParlor)

At Conversion Leadership your SEM (search engine marketing) and SMM (social media marketing) campaigns are managed by people - the placements are carefully chosen, the ads are monitored and optimized frequently to tune for budget and outcome.

With Brand Safety being top of mind, now is the time to review what is happening with your SEM and SMM campaigns.

Brand Safety Checklist

  • Choose the "best fit" audience for your campaign
  • Exclude high-risk audiences for your brand
  • Select topic categories for your ad placements that are unambiguous
  • Exclude topic categories that could be misinterpreted
  • Create your own extensive keyword blacklist that keeps pace with social trends and behaviours
  • Regularly review your placement reports


Call Conversion Leadership for a confidential conversation if you are concerned that your brand may be at risk.  Call 1300 766 328