Brand safety initiatives take center stage at Cannes

Brand safety initiatives take center stage at Cannes
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This article originally appeared in The Drum on June 18, 2019.

From dealmakers to yacht-partiers, revelers at Cannes are surely focused on brand safety today (18 June), after two key initiaves were unveiled.

After launching last summer, the Brand Safety Institute (BSI) officially started offering its accreditation certificate for executives who manage brand safety and related issues within their organizations.

BSI also presented its board of advisors and founding sponsors, including Adobe, Facebook, OpenX and Oracle Data Cloud.

Meanwhile, Oracle Data Cloud has involved itself in another brand safety initiative, with social media company Reddit, to police user-generated content (UGC).

Oracle Data Cloud will integrate its technology into the platform to scan and review UGC in real time. The process will classify content within “industry-standard brand safety categories” to give advertisers more control over where they run their campaigns on Reddit.

As platforms such as YouTube and Facebook continue to face problems, and with emerging outlets such as TikTok causing additional concerns, marketers continue to look for industy-wide protocols and safeguards against brand safety crises.

“Brand safety involves some of the most complicated and interwoven challenges in advertising, and the executives tackling those issues are ready to raise the bar by professionalizing their field and giving their peers the skills and recognition they deserve,” said Mike Zaneis, co-founder of BSI. “When a professional field reaches a certain level of maturity, the leaders in that field often implement a formal accreditation process, so they can validate their expertise, improve their knowledge, and connect with their peers.”

Facebook updated its own brand safety policies in April following pressure from advertisers. John DeVine, the company’s head of global operations, said policing content has been an industry-wide struggle.

“On brand safety, however, success has been hindered by the complex nature of the issue, the wide range of executives within an organization responsible for it, and the inconsistency of training and expertise around it,” said DeVine. “The Brand Safety Institute will help our industry raise its baseline for brand safety by ensuring that executives across the industry have the knowledge, relationships and skills they need.”

As for Reddit, it’s always said brand safety isn’t an issue, a stance ad buyers have questioned given the open dialog and sheer amount of content on the platform.

The partnership with Oracle Data Cloud, though, comes as the company looks to build out it’s performance ad offerings to win more dollars from it’s social media competitors.

“Among Reddit’s strongest propositions for advertisers is the depth and authenticity of conversations across thousands of interest-based communities,” Reddit’s chief operating officer Jen Wong said, claiming that this is the first time a UGC platform has created a verified brand safety solution.

“Our current approach to brand safety includes effective moderation at the platform, community and campaign levels,” Wong said. “We’re thrilled to leverage Oracle’s Contextual Intelligence to offer yet another layer of brand safety that’s third-party verified and customized for Reddit’s engagement.”

BSI’s board of advisors will help the organization create and update the brand safety curriculum for its accreditation program. Members are listed below.

  • Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Digital Ad Operations, GroupM North America
  • Rob Beeler, Chairman, AdMonsters
  • Alisa Bergman, VP & Chief Privacy Officer, Adobe
  • Jason Bier, EVP, Chief Data & Privacy Officer, Engine Group
  • Dennis Buchheim, SVP & GM, IAB Tech Lab
  • Steve Chester, Director of Media, ISBA
  • Scott Cunningham, Founder, Cunningham.Tech
  • Christine Desrosiers, Director, Revenue Systems & Programmatic, BabyCenter
  • John DeVine, Head of Global Operations, Facebook
  • Richard Foan, Executive Chairman, JICWEBS
  • Harold Geller, Executive Director, Ad-ID
  • Rachel Glasser, Chief Privacy Officer, Wunderman
  • Mark Goldberg, CEO, TrustMetrics
  • David Green, Vice President, Public Policy, NBCUniversal
  • Stacey Hultgren, Senior Manager, Ad Quality Measurement, Pandora
  • Louis Jones, EVP, Media & Data, 4A’s
  • Jessica King, Senior Product Manager, Unruly
  • Dallas Lawrence, Chief Communications & Brand Officer, OpenX
  • Stephanie Layser, Vice President, Advertising Technology & Operations, News Corp
  • Joshua Lowcock, EVP, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer, UM (part of IPG Mediabrands)
  • Jon Mew, CEO, IAB UK
  • Jessica Morel, VP, Global Marketing, Oracle Data Cloud
  • David Murnick, EVP, Digital Operations and Technology Partnerships, Dentus Aegis Group
  • John Murphy, Chief Quality Officer, Confiant
  • Richard Murphy, EVP, BPA Worldwide
  • Chris Olson, Co-Founder and CEO, The Media Trust
  • Terri Schriver, SVP, Enterprise Media, Bank of America
  • Rachel Nyswander Thomas – Chair of BSI Board of Advisors – Chief Operating Officer, Trustworthy Accountability Group
  • Sal Tripi, AVP, Digital Operations & Compliance, Publishers Clearing House
  • Kyle Turner, Senior Manager, Inventory Quality, MediaMath
  • Eric Warburton, VP, Ad Operations, Horizon Media
  • Oliver von Wersch, Founder & CEO, vonwerschpartner Digital Strategies

A spokesperson for Oracle Data Cloud said the two announcements are not related.