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Brand safety is back in the spotlight (again)

By | Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Publishers, Banner - True Native, Brand Safety, main blog, Native advertising, Uncategorized

Back in 2017, we published a piece on our blog about a growing scandal in online advertising. Has programmatic become problematic? went on to be one of our most read and shared posts and looked at the risks of buying RTB inventory on the open market and not fully understanding the content your ads were appearing next to.

Ads for some of the world’s biggest brands were found alongside highly questionable content on sites like YouTube. Advertisers scrambled to pull their campaigns, shifting budgets to more brand safe channels.

A familiar pattern

Fast-forward to 2019 and a new Wired investigation has revealed that the site’s problems haven’t gone away. Their research found brand’s pre-roll video ads appearing next to content popular with and commented on by pedophiles. Again, when alerted, advertisers including food giant Nestlé and Fortnite creator Epic Games pulled campaigns.

Why is it so hard to police?

The problem adversely affects any site containing UG (user generated) content. Only a couple of months ago popular micro blogging site Tumblr was pulled from Apple’s app store because filters had failed to spot illegal images that had been uploaded.

Just this week, far right activist ‘Tommy Robinson’ had his Facebook and Instagram accounts deleted for spreading hate speech. In short, despite technology improving all the time, it’s hard to guarantee brand safety on any UG site that is retroactively policed.

Knowing where your ads are 

One way of migrating the risks of your content appearing in places you’d rather it didn’t is moving towards trusted publishers via a programmatic direct or a PMP deal. Indeed, Econsultancy reports that that both media agencies and publishers are looking to reduce their reliance on open exchanges this year. From a publisher perspective, it reduces the risk of poor quality or fraudulent ads appearing on their site and for advertisers, increases brand safety.

The benefits of premium inventory

Aside from brand safety, new research from Newsworks / AOP shows that ads seen in a premium context are viewed for 17% longer and with 29% higher levels of engagement than ads on social sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

We’re now IAB Gold Standard certified

By | Banner - Advertisers, Banner - Publishers, Brand Safety, Uncategorized

We’re delighted to announce that we have achieved the Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Gold Standard certification.

Upon receiving the accreditation, Adam Rock, Managing Director said:

“We are proud to have achieved the standards set out by the IAB to attain Gold Standard certification.

It’s important to demonstrate that our industry is committed to ensuring the highest possible standards online as native advertising continues to grow in importance to brands, agencies and publishers.

The IAB have recognised that the industry needs to come together to combat ad fraud, ensure brand safety and improve the entire digital advertising user experience. Our non-interruptive formats on trusted publishers are testament to our support for the Gold Standard.”

Supporting better standards 

The accreditation process involved TAN Media implementing and supporting the ads.txt initiative, adherence to the Coalition for Better Advertising LEAN standards, and working with UK regulatory group JICWEBs towards attaining The Digital Trading Standards Group (DTSG) certification for brand safety.

Improving digital advertising 

The IAB Gold Standard has three aims – to reduce ad fraud, to improve the digital advertising experience, and to increase brand safety. The initiative was launched in October 2017 as part of the IAB’s commitment to raising standards in digital advertising and building a sustainable future for the industry.

Man on laptop

A beginner’s guide to ads.txt and CBA

By | Banner - Publishers, main blog, Uncategorized

Programmatic advertising has grown at an astonishing rate over the past few years, enabling advertisers to reach their desired audience, efficiently and at scale. The desire for reach has led to many collaborations between publishers, exchanges and AdTech partners, but it’s also made the online advertising ecosystem incredibly complicated and at risk from fraud as more and more parts are added to the chain. The answer? Authorised Digital Sellers, otherwise known as Ads.txt

So, what is ads.txt?

Introduced by the IAB in 2017, ads.txt has been well received by publishers in the UK with an adoption rate of 83% among top 1,000 domains (Jan 2018). It’s essentially a text file, approved by the IAB, which enables publishers to prevent unauthorised sales of their online inventory by listing all the companies that they do allow to sell it. The publisher adds a simple text file on their web server containing all the companies they’ve authorised to sell their inventory.

How do buyers check?

Ads.txt protects programmatic buyers from spending budgets on counterfeit inventory. It’s pretty simple to ensure you’re buying the genuine thing. Simply add /ads.txt to a website to ensure that you are buying from authorised digital sellers of a particular domain. For more on how to add or check ads.txt visit www.iabtechlab.com/how-to-ads-txt

Other industry Initiatives 

Partly in reaction to the rise of ad blocking, the industry has come together to form The Collation For Better Ads. It’s aim is to improve online advertising for consumers in order to secure revenue streams which fund free content and valuable journalism. Our non-interruptive native formats conform to CBA guidelines. You can find out more at www.betterads.org

How TAN supports industry initiatives 

Our non-interruptive native formats conform to CBA guidelines and all of our creative specs detail our support. Our publisher team fully supports Ads.txt, working with publishers to ensure they include the relevant Ads.txt files within their sites, signalling to programmatic buyers that this inventory is authorised.