Quarter of global marketers report digital ads appearing next to extremist content

Quarter of global marketers report digital ads appearing next to extremist content

A quarter of the world's marketers have reported specific examples of where their digital advertising appeared alongside offensive and compromising content.

The study by CMO Council and Dow Jones was based on an online study of more than 300 senior marketing decision-makers, along with perspectives from the council's 13,000 members in 110 countries. 

The report, Brand protection from digital content infection: Safeguarding brand reputation through diligent ad channel selection, called into question the merits and flaws of the $40bn (£29.7bn) programmatic advertising market. 

Notably, 72% of brand advertisers engaged in programmatic buying are concerned about brand integrity and digital display placement. 

In addition to the 25% of respondents who have examples where their ads ended up somewhere disreputable, nearly half reported problems with how and where their ads were viewed. 

Consumers hate these ads too

An additional study, How brands annoy fans, looked at digital brand safety from a consumer's perspective and found that consumers are punishing brands if they do not use trusted media platforms.

Nearly half of respondents indicated they would rethink purchasing from a company, or would boycott products, if they found that brands' ads appeared next to digital content that offended or alienated them. 

The majority of consumers (63%) said they respond more positively to the same ads when they find them in more established and trusted media environments.

To answer this call for trust, marketers plan to respond by bolstering their guidelines and guidelines that will shape advertising placements moving forward.

"Our member research shows clients are going to be putting more pressure on their advertising and media-buying partners to provide greater due diligence, control and monitoring when it comes to ensuring ad placement efficacy through automated platforms," Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council, said.

Neale-May added: "They want to see greater ad spend effectiveness and better attribution from a performance measurement standpoint. They will also likely dictate which channels are pre-approved and also shift spend to those that are most trusted and proven."

Findings from the CMO Council member survey reveal brand decision makers are most focused on the following five actions:

Developing digital advertising guidelines for their agency and ad buying networks


Relying on their media buying firm to better manage and control placements


Tracking and monitoring digital advertising placements internally


Moving to programmatic direct buys and private exchanges rather than bidding in open exchanges


Developing whitelists of pre-approved publishing channels and reputable content/editorial channels


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