Over the past week, there has been news that brands and their agencies/global marketing companies have pulled their advertising spend from Google and YouTube. A number of significant clients felt that Google has been unable to guarantee that video or display content is classified quickly enough or with the correct filters. This has led to questions about brand safety amid fears of video and display ads appearing next to offensive, violent, or inappropriate content. Google is currently reviewing its advertising policies in response.

Media iQ is proud to reassure our clients that our stance on brand safety is unwavering and stronger than ever. Media iQ continues to employ a three-layer brand safety system to provide peace of mind for advertisers:

1. We only buy from trusted sellers on our whitelist.

2. We block thousands of domains and millions of IP ranges via a series of blacklists, which limit ad fraud and brand safety issues. Our IP blacklists are updated daily and our domain blacklists are updated weekly, however, the IAS & Grapeshot pre-bid segments are dynamic and will pick up any content – new or old. These are updated on an ongoing basis.

3. We leverage third-party pre-bid blocking from IAS and Grapeshot, which prevents the purchase of ads on any page containing sensitive content on topics such as terrorism and violence. This system is applied to every bid we place, including any placed on Google sites such as YouTube.

There are multiple reasons why blacklists don’t work. Domain masking, for example, packages undesirable inventory under premium domains. This is why we layer all three different approaches: often a bad seller will activate domain masking (so it gets caught by the seller whitelist) or that page will contain high-risk keywords – so it gets blocked by our pre-bid partners.

Google-owned and operated sites such as YouTube form a small proportion of Media iQ buying and we will block these for advertisers on request. That said, Google is a highly-valued technology partner of Media iQ’s and we will continue to use their exchange and ad-serving technology to provide high-quality programmatic reach for our advertisers.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your ‘client services representative’ if you have any concerns.


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