Looking at Brand Safety and Transparency in 2018.

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There is no disputing the fact that transparency and brand safety were two issues that shook up the digital world in 2017. However, its scrutiny has actually been beneficial.

Marketers now understand more.  A lot of the uncertainty surrounding brand safety or transparency was down to a lack of knowledge and as such, has led to much better rules of engagement and improved communication.  It has also provided a clear indicator for everyone in the digital eco-system to work together to alleviate any fears and build trust while getting rid of the (very few) bad actors that remain.

There’s much more to come though and as we move further into 2018, there will be a few changes regarding brand safety and transparency:

Working together

Let’s face it, consumers are now all on digital – the increase in smartphone ownership, the advance in the internet, applications and the development of voice technologies are driving marketing creativity.  As such, the whole media world has to work together to build a strong relationship.  Many organisations have established and are working on a set of best-practice standards to improve transparency in digital advertising which will further clear up the problem.

Brand Safety and Transparency

Technology behind transparency

Technology will play a vital role in improving trust and transparency throughout the course of 2018. For example, the introduction of ads.txt in 2017 has already helped significantly reduce the risk of fake domains being used and is a great example of the industry working together to fight against the problems plaguing it. Ad fraud is currently just at 4%, so every day we’re moving closer to 0%.

The IAB, along with many other organisations will also introduce more R&D investment in blockchain projects designed to minimise ad fraud and maximise brand safety. Although blockchain is in its early days,  some are already experimenting with its implementation.


Measurement will also be key in increasing transparency and building trust. We will continue to see better digital measurement – from the continued evolution of DCR, through better ways to measure video.

As consumers become more and more involved, expectations will continue to evolve and the consumer will choose how, where and if to interact with a brand. To make this easier, the role of data and technology will take centre stage.

Data and technology will impact every form of marketing, media and publishing and will require all marketers, agencies, publishers and platforms to come together. Let’s hope that 2018 will be the year that digital experts and brands come together to create a better outcome for users and ultimately, a better outcome for the advertising and media industry.  For more information on our services or working with our leading solutions, based heavily on our own technology and analysis, contact us.

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