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Part of what we do for the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA SA) is create interesting and informative content. This is for the organization to share with its members and to be considered a thought leader in its industry.


As such, we were tasked to produce a ‘Brand Safety’ white paper in late 2018, which when completed would be published on the global MMA’s website as well as shared with members and guests present at the 2018 ACCELERATE Forum.


Here’s a snippet from the paper.

For many brands, partaking in digital marketing means being exposed to the growth pains of the internet. The use of the web to spread fake news, YouTube videos that promote terror and violence, or influencers behaving badly, all have the potential to negatively impact a brand’s reputation through unanticipated or unintended association. Indeed, the increased reliance on advertising as a revenue stream that drives growth for major publishing platforms, unfortunately provides a major incentive for them to ignore the internet’s more ‘unsavoury’ players.


And while media agencies can try explain away how it was the programmatic ad serving platform that mistakenly served their client’s ads to a fake news site, the rationalisation is lost on the public and the media who are quick to point fingers at the brand. Indeed, 48% of consumers note that they would reconsider their purchasing decision, or even boycott a brand, if it appears next to offensive or disconcerting content. Significantly, research from Sizmek shows that 40% of brands have had ads delivered on unsafe sites.


But what is Brand Safety?

It’s no wonder then that Brand Safety is a hot topic. However, as a term Brand Safety is hard to define, seemingly bringing together a number of disparate concerns. For example, it encompasses both the other topics in this report – advertising fraud and viewability – and the following:


  • Standardisation and tracking of Brand Safety performance
  • Collaboration with advertising agencies on brand matters
  • Ad purchasing scrutiny, especially relating to programmatic buying
  • Consumer research regarding media trust
  • Examining the impact of ad blocking
  • PoPIA compliance
  • Monitoring content and processes for ads
  • Training of colleagues and stakeholders
  • Monitoring of company influencers and brand ambassadors


Brand Safety is certainly not static in nature, and it has a tendency to evolve as marketing methods do. Take for example brands’ current engagement with social media influencers. How does one separate the promotion of the brand, with other, perhaps more questionable posts the influencer shares in his/her more personal capacity?


The MMA’s definition of Brand Safety is quite clear: It describes it as any form of advertising in a digital environment where the content of that environment aligns with a brand’s image, values, and messaging. So why does this matter? Luisa Mazinter, Chief Marketing Officer at Tyme and MMA SA Chair, noted that brands have to pay attention to Brand Safety, “to achieve the business objectives that we as marketers are tasked to deliver on, specifically around customer acquisition.”


Take a read of the rest of the paper!