Brand safety issue vexes marketers: Digital platforms fall under scrutiny as ads appear near objectionable content

This article explains the issue of ads appearing next to offensive content and steps brands can take to circumvent the problem.

Depending on who's doing the telling, the recent kerfuffle sparked by a series of articles in The Times of London earlier this year is a near-apocalyptic event in the marketing world or much ado about nothing. The truth, as is usually the case in such matters, probably lies somewhere in between.

The Times of London ran articles in February and March that focused on the problem of brands finding their ads placed next to highly inappropriate content, including material posted on YouTube by rape apologists, anti-Semites, and groups linked to terrorist activities. A list of companies that pulled ads from...

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