When advert dollars move into CTV, model safety issues observe
Networked television, a growing medium that faces the challenges of transparency and advertising fraud, is becoming more differentiated.
Brands are increasingly concerned about advertising alongside unsafe online content, a concern that was highlighted repeatedly in 2020 as the treatment of articles in the news cycle has become increasingly controversial.
Media buyers' concerns in particular have centered on UGC forums where advertisers are opting out of Facebook and YouTube because of unsolicited content such as hate speech and pedophilia.
However, more reputable news sources have also suffered from marketers blocking automated media purchases alongside coronavirus-related content or protests. This has led to allegations that brand security providers are taking an overly blunt approach rather than taking the nuance of particular content into account.
Although more and more advertising dollars are moving to CTV and more and more people are streaming content while staying at home, technology providers are now bringing their tools to the growing medium. This time with a little more discretion.
Zefr, a company that helps brands and agencies make contextual video purchases on YouTube and Facebook, is partnering with Iris.TV, a contextual sales page marketplace, to provide CTV and online video tools for brand safety and suitability.
Marketers can use Zefr's contextual targeting tools to purchase ads on specific shows from media owners who partner with Iris.TV, such as: B. WarnerMedia, Fox, Verizon Media, and Tastemade. The two companies have a revenue sharing agreement if their data is used for contextual purchase.
Ideally, this gives buyers more transparency, as show-level data such as title or genre isn't always passed on in CTV ad requests.
"We tap on industry experts like Zefr … to categorize all the content available to us through the publishers and then send that data to the ecosystem," said Richie Hyden, co-founder and COO of Iris.TV.
The partnership will initially be limited to direct purchases and private marketplace deals, which make up the majority of CTV transaction types, but eventually also include open auction deals.
Zefr's brand security and suitability offerings are based on the standards of the Global Alliance for Responsible Media and the 4A security and suitability framework, which can be used to make the definition of unsafe content more consistent.
"Our goal is to eliminate subjectivity," said Jeremy Greenspan, EVP for data partnerships at Zefr. "With these definitions, we can show very clearly what type of content falls under each of these areas."
More data and clearer definitions will help marketers make smarter decisions about what content to block or allow. Mike Fisher, vice president of advanced TV and audio at Essence, said brand suitability is "qualitative rather than quantitative," than brand safety, which he sees as more of a means of verifying an ad's delivery.
"I look at [brand suitability] from a planning perspective to find the right mix of inventory, the right delivery partners, and the right show mix that matches the sentiment my brand is trying to achieve," said Fisher.
While CTV is a booming medium, it is also facing ad fraud challenges, particularly in the open auction with Iris.TV to address such concerns.
Essentially, the CTV outfit acts as a clearinghouse for contextual data, relaying that information in a way that demand-side platforms can understand. Media owners can work with the tech company to make their contextual data directly available to marketers. This contributes to more transparency when buying ads.