Caring about how you’re perceived by others is not a new concept. Even cavemen probably had moments of insecurity, pondering whether everyone thought their new animal skins looked good. And as long as brands have been around, there’s been a whole industry built around portraying the right manicured image to the world.
But the last year has seen the topic of brand safety pushed firmly to the front of everyone’s minds, in the digital space in particular (or in every space, if you’re Pepsi). In February, The Times published a damning article claiming that Google was funding terrorism by allowing YouTube ads to appear alongside extremist video content. Soon after, brands noticed their ads appearing on radical news sites via the Facebook Audience Network. Budgets were pulled; outrage was aired.
In this article, we’ll look more closely at the mechanisms which allow these reputation-damaging mistakes to take place on Facebook, and what advertisers and agencies can be doing to avoid them.