Brand safety: How to avoid the traps that put your brand at risk

Account Director

The risks associated with ad misplacement have increased dramatically in recent years, making brand safety a hot topic. News investigations into brand risk have hit the headlines with Procter & Gamble’s chief marketer demanding more transparency from the digital ad trading industry.

No wonder. Poor brand safety hits advertisers where it hurts. Fast-moving news cycles, social media content, fake or fraudulent websites and unsafe programmatic buys put your campaign at risk of appearing next to inappropriate content.

IAS (Integral Ad Science) reports that brand risk stands at 4.5 per cent for desktop and 4.2 per cent for mobile in the UK. We don’t think this is good enough.

Brand safety at The Student Room

The Student Room nurtures long-lasting partnerships based on trust by making sure ad performance doesn’t come at the expense of reputation. Our strong relationship with the University of Bradford reassured Associate Director of Marketing Communications, Emma Bridge, that their successful  Clearing campaign was in the right hands.

“If an ad is served in an incorrect location and a prospective student screen-grabs it and puts it on social media, that puts us in a terrible situation.”

Emma Bridge, University of Bradford, Associate Director of Marketing Communications

How we safeguard brands

At The Student Room, we safeguard your brand by adhering to the UK Good Practice Principles for brand safety set by JICWEBS’ (Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards) DTSG (Digital Trading Standards Group). As part of this process we are verified annually by the independent third-party organisation ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulations).

The DTSG seal

Transparency and trust should be at the heart of our industry and we’re putting this belief into action. We are the only agency or media company in the education sector to currently wear the DTSG seal of approval for both onsite and offsite brand safety.

“We check that there are processes and policies in place to reduce ad misplacement. We go in, we look under the hood, and we make sure people are doing what they say they’re doing.”

Jo Bland ABC Account Manager

We hold ourselves to a higher standard of brand safety than our competitors in order to protect not only your budget but also your reputation. “The purpose of a marketing campaign is to place a brand in front of its target audience in a compelling way. Poor brand safety means that not only is budget wasted by inappropriate placement, it can also turn a brand’s target audience against them.”

Suzy Saker, ABC PR Manager

What we do for our clients

By investing in brand-safety verification tools and managing our blacklists and whitelists with precision, we make sure ads served programmatically are just as safe as those placed on The Student Room. By shielding you from risk, we can use our unrivalled first-party data to help your campaign achieve its full potential.

“As the only education agency to be verified, The Student Room is ahead of the curve. But if you have a question or a query, they are incredibly approachable too.”

Emma Bridge

To learn more about brand safety and programmatic at The Student Room have a look here.