You’ve heard us talk about transparency before; my colleagues Mary Price and Cheryl Huckabay have written about it recently. The topic remains newsworthy – now YouTube is in the hot seat regarding inappropriate/controversial content.
YouTube’s deficiencies in this area elevate two main issues, transparency and brand safety:
The “walled gardens” of Google and Facebook have historically blocked any third-party verification except for viewability (which launched late in 2016, making them late to the viewability party). This results in a lack of visibility for all content within these environments.
YouTube goes through an automated process that classifies content. Automation does not equate to perfection. While classification can block certain content categories, there is always a chance that inappropriate content will slip through the validation cracks.
The Richards Group has always taken a proactive approach to brand safety. For Google and YouTube, we have standard operating procedures to maximize platform controls, capitalizing on our partnerships with Google and Integral Ad Science (our verification partner) to create additional safety layers through blacklists and realistic targeting requirements for the content control that our clients’ brands need.
We applaud the industry for pushing media suppliers, no matter the size, for more transparency – and we will continue to push our partners to do the same. We look forward to seeing how these trends impact all programmatic supply, not just YouTube. The result will be a more valuable supply chain that is more accountable to its buyers and audiences alike.