Five issues with brand safety for online advertisers

audit under review One of the most common reasons cited for advertiser’s concerns for online advertising is brand safety. While this is an issue that has seen steady improvements in recent years, there are still instances where a brand sees their ads placed on a website that they would definitely not be associated with. It is up to the advertisers to control and demand that they know exactly where their ads are going to show. Listed below are five issues that businesses may run into in regards brand safety when advertising online.


This is perhaps the most common issue that advertisers run into, especially if they operate in an industry where certain restrictions apply. For example, it is bad for a gambling site to run ads in places where gambling is illegal. The same happens when businesses aimed at an adult audience have ads placed on sites that are used by minors. It is incredibly important for brand safety, as well as for the safety of the users, that these types of ads only be placed on relevant and suitable sites.


There have been instances in the past where online ads have landed on sites operated by controversial owners, hate groups, hackers, and even terrorists. More often than not, these sites start off as seemingly legitimate, and are often hosted by reputable companies. Ads run by Google and other big-name ad exchanges have often ended up on sites such as this, and there are now attempts being made to ensure that these types of websites are blacklisted to protect advertisers. However, the bigger the network, the more likely it is abused by these types of site.

Low quality viewers

Low quality websites will often try to increase their ad revenue by putting as many ads on their pages as possible. The result is that there are plenty of impressions, but very few clicks or sales generated from all those views. Advertisers on those types of sites see their ad money wasted and also their brand negatively affected because viewers perceive that appearing on a low quality site is a sign that they might expect the same quality or treatment from the company.

Unreliable data

Advertisers rely on detailed audience and demographic data provided by the publishers or the ad exchanges to get an idea of who see their ads and how well their ads might perform. If this data is misleading or wrong, it leads to wasted ad spending and mistrust. Businesses who regularly advertise online quickly learn how to read and judge said data, which is why they can usually spot when the data simply doesn’t add up. This is not something that new online advertisers might notice right away.

Complex supply chain

Online advertising is getting very complicated with many ad vendors between publishers and advertisers. This long chain creates issues and difficulties in auditing, reporting, and ad serving. Slow ad delivery, reduced transparency, and high discrepancy are just a few of these issues. These problems can often affect brand security and safety in a negative way. All parties want the delivery of ads as seamless as possible, and to ensure that the data being supplied is as accurate as possible. This is what advertisers should be looking for when choosing their advertising partners, especially an ad server for advertisers.


  • Security concerns with online advertising
    "Publishers are well aware that there is a lot of money to be made by showing ads on their website. However, the issue here is that when rushing to monetize their pages, there are some site owners who do not perform proper due diligence. " More
  • Legal considerations with online advertising
    "There are publishers out there who believe that making money with ads on their website as simple as running any kind of ads from any sources and hoping for the best. The reality here is that you need to be really careful about what you choose to display on your site, especially if you want to avoid potential legal issues that could arise. " More
  • Issues for publishers with wrong ads showing on their websites
    "Publishers face a range of problems when unexpected ads show up on their websites. For example, an ad for an event in the past is still showing after its advertised date or an alcohol ad displays on a kid-friendly site. " More