As technology evolves, more marketers are investing in online advertising to support their digital campaigns. Due to the programmatic nature of much of digital advertising, companies are encouraged to hand the keys over to agencies or partners that use different algorithms to control the placement of their media.

This is an ongoing issue as many marketers struggle to achieve transparency over their partnership and lose control over their media as a result. Brand safety is all about ensuring these digital ads don’t appear in a place or way that could be detrimental to your brand.

Of course, we all want our ads to appear alongside popular content that generates a lot of traffic and engagement; but if those pages are inappropriate, or contain extremist or adult content, your brand could be harmed within seconds, and that’s where it all goes wrong…


According to the IAS Media Quality report, 6.8% of all buy types in the UK are identified as having a ‘moderate’ to ‘very high’ brand risk. Although this seems like a low percentage, it didn’t stop some of the world’s best-known brands falling into the trap of misplaced ads.

Last year a range of household names found themselves in a compromising position where they were advertising next to controversial and even illegal content across the web. Companies such as Jaguar Land Rover were amongst the first major advertisers to pull their online advertising to avoid brand risk.

But it didn’t stop there. YouTube had to refund companies, including Marks and Spencer, L’Oreal and McDonalds, when these brands followed by removing their media from the internet, as it was revealed paid-for clips had appeared alongside extremist and violent content.


Ensure you have trust, transparency and confidence with the agency or publisher you partner with. Try to be more involved when selecting an appropriate publisher and content, so you can be sure it best aligns with your campaign requirements and is somewhere you can be proud to associate with.

Being aware of brand safety means you’re already taking steps towards minimising the problem. But you can have relevant safety measures in place for your organisation and define the level of prevention you require through factors such as third-party verification.

By working with a third-party verified provider, organisations can be confident they have effective integrations and technology in place to reduce brand risk and ultimately avoid ad misplacement.


Although the media spotlight on brand safety has put pressure on the industry to recognise and address this issue, uncertainty remains around programmatic advertising.

We’re passionate about being open and transparent with our clients, and we’re proud to say we’ve geeked out when it comes to brand safety and have been recognised by the Digital Training Standards Group (DTSG) for our best practice. Our newly verified status gives our clients piece of mind their brand is in safe hands when they partner with us.

As the only Education agency or media company to be certified by JICWEBS, working with us means you can be positive we’re compliant to the DTSG’s high standards. Want to find out more? Read about the DTSG UK brand safety seal of approval here.