Brand Safety

 Brand Safety

The buzz phrase of 2018 so far in the advertising world surely has to be – “brand safety”. From Mark Zuckerberg on trial regarding data. To established high spending advertisers publicly criticizing any platform that cannot guarantee where an ad placement will be around content. To Martin Lewis’ name being used without permission on Facebook ads from other companies. Is brand safety something we should worry about / pay more attention to?

The safest place in the world to advertise and build a brand’s reputation surely is in Television? Television got that accolade due to stringent restrictions placed on media owners, through decades of betterment and constant improvement. It is a trusted resource that has been built up since the 1950’s.

In contrast to televisions long history, the world wide web has only been around since 1996. With advertising monetisation on the web only being implemented early this century. Unless you count that bloke who tattooed his face with website logos for advertising money of course…

Web tattoo man The web platforms in which we increasingly rely on day to day were allowed a lot of leeway in the beginning. To a certain degree, they still are. How does one protect itself from the ever-rising tide in supposed faulty platforms in the digital marketing industry but still remain focused on it’s innovative methodology?

Well, these techniques do work, it goes without saying surely? These methods are increasingly becoming more accurately analysed too. They are determined to paint a safer, more transparent environment with as much information possible shared. For instance; Google established a free academy to enlighten people on how they operate. Google also prides itself on its analytics program, specifically designed to curate statistics on your advertising campaigns.

google analyticsSearch engines run a great service for users and help brands to connect with them. That’s all we want as consumers and businesses on the web really isn’t it? A good service and an ease in how we live our day to day lives.

What about Facebook? Brands are able to openly communicate with their customers and can secure new followers by doing so. With their plethora of real data, they can also merge brand and consumer together using targeted advertising. It’s important to note that Facebook claims to not sell data directly. It’s there as a platform for advertising only and it’s proven extremely powerful. They also use analytics that the user can see how their campaigns perform.

Facebook Analytics Granted, Facebook is under pressure following the Cambridge Analytica fiasco, so perhaps that created a more open flow of information on their behalf. The Mark Zuckerberg trial indicated heavily on one thing – people are ill-informed.

Even the tried and tested method of television advertising is now utilising the online method using, yep you guessed it, our data. When broadcasting their content online or using a smart TV/device they advertise products to us that fit our demographic based on the input of our information. This has become an increasingly popular way to build a brands personality with commercial broadcasters.

The one common denominator surrounding the data fiasco of 2018 comes down to the question – what are these private companies doing with this information?

Through the cloud of smoke that these companies operate data, perhaps what people are angry about most isn’t how the company operates, but why they aren’t telling us. In a way, I liken this whole charade to a media witch hunt. However, any private entity that can handle this much personal information should be under constant scrutiny to how it is used to influence the general population.

It’s great that any platform utilising our data and locations can help to promote a business and connect with ease to its consumers. What is perhaps less agreeable, is the difficulty in pinpointing what these private institutions are doing with our data. Recently they have tried to make the user aware of how the information is used… However, how many of you actually read all those updates recently? I didn’t.