YouTube doubles down on brand safety for advertisers

YouTube is also working with Integral Ad Science on brand safety for its platform. (Unsplash)

YouTube is still grappling with how to ensure advertisers on its platform don’t get matched up with content they deem unsuitable or inappropriate. The company is taking further steps to prevent that from happening.

On Thursday, the company expanded its agreement with DoubleVerify, an independent provider of marketing measurement software and analytics.

“Today, brand suitability is a core advertiser expectation—across all media types and buying platforms. With our expanded partnership, DoubleVerify is ensuring brand suitability on the world’s leading online video platform,” said Wayne Gattinella, CEO of DoubleVerify, in a statement.


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YouTube advertisers can now use DoubleVerify’s third-party verification methodology that provides insights into the appropriateness of the media on which their video campaigns are running. The company’s Brand Safety and Suitability controls are broken out into 11 categories including violence, hate speech and pornography. Advertisers can opt into 10 additional Brand Targeting categories, such as pets, automotive and travel—based on relevance to the brand.

YouTube is also working with Integral Ad Science on brand safety for its platform. IAS’s solution uses a combination of machine learning and human review to recalibrate models for determining appropriateness.

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“Brand safety can’t be solved alone, it is going to take all the stakeholders in our industry, working together, to find a solution,” said Harmon Lyons, senior vice president of Global Business Development at IAS, in a statement. “We saw such great success with this beta because YouTube, IAS, and prominent brands were all willing to listen to each other, work together, and create a solution that advertisers can trust to verify their investment on the YouTube platform.”

YouTube’s steps to increase brand safety measures on its platform come after the company has repeatedly run into issues around advertisements running against video containing offensive material. Earlier this year, CNN Business reported that ads from more than 300 companies ran on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda.

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