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Danish advertisers create guide to brand safety

Three out four advertisers say there is insufficient transparency in media buying

/ Introduction

The Danish Advertiser Association recently published a white paper with insights and recommendations to help advertisers prevent ad fraud and improve brand safety.

Brand safety is a growing concern in Denmark. Despite very low instances of ad fraud, the Danish association’s 2018 survey found that three out of four advertisers believe there is insufficient transparency in media buying and feel they have lost control over what their ads are appearing next to. In the second half of 2017, risk of exposure doubled in Denmark at 12% across display ads on desktop and mobile.

The white paper identified seven steps advertisers should consider when it comes to brand safety:

  1. Define the acceptable risk. Review “the dirty dozen” – 12 categories of the most common harmful content – and decide on the level of risk you are willing to take for your brand to be possibly exposed to these types of content. Analyse the economic consequences, set the criteria for acceptable risk and share them with all relevant partners such as agency, media and technology partners. The Danish association recommends that any contract with a media agency or publisher should contain a clause that defines the acceptable risk, procedures and governance as well as sanctions in the instance of brand safety breaches.
  2. Select the appropriate brand safety strategy. Create and maintain a black and white list, as well as a list of negative keywords. Set clear guidelines for partnerships.
  3. Use the right brand safety technologies. Examine the current offerings in the market thoroughly and understand each supplier’s strengths, weaknesses and costs. Make sure that the supplier adheres to established industry standards, i.e. Media Rating Council (MRC) standards.
  4. Monitor brand safety continuously.
  5. Have a strategy in place in case of brand safety breach. The Danish association recommends the crisis plan should contain at least risk scenarios, a defined stakeholder responsibility and internal and external action points.
  6. Set requirements for agency, media and technology partners. Comprehensive and stringent safety measures should be in place including restrictions on which accounts and channels can show paid advertising. Third-party verification providers must be certified by independent institutions such as MRC or the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS). The Danish association is working on a “Danish Certification Standard” to be launched in 2019.
  7. Invest with care. Advertisers also contribute to increasing brand safety issues. The Danish association welcomed the WFA Global Media Charter’s recommended commitments from advertisers.

The Danish Advertiser Association will work on media transparency in 2019 around five key areas including: a common Danish certification standard, insight into calculation models, clarification of conflicts of interest, clear rules for data responsibility and ensuring brand safety and fraud prevention.

You can download the white paper here (in Danish). For more information, please contact Holger Wilcks.

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