AdSafe Partners with Slew of Publishers and Networks

AdSafe Media, which has an online brand verification platform that prevents ads from appearing on Web sites with objectionable content, has established several new partnerships with ad networks and publishers.

The new partners include AudienceScience, Break Media, Collective, Invite Media, Kitara Media, Turn, Media6Degrees, MediaMath, Ourstage, Rocket Fuel Inc., Scripps Networks, Traffic Marketplace and [x+1].

The partners now have access to AdSafe’s Content Rating System, which rates the safety of content on individual Web pages, and its Brand Safety Firewall, which prevents ads from appearing in inappropriate contexts. The goal is to help control the placement of display advertising among clients.

“If you are a major brand – like Kraft, P&G or Coca-Cola – and you are buying media through exchanges or ad networks or any of the retargeting platforms, at this point, [you] don’t know where those ads will appear,” said Kent Wakeford, EVP of AdSafe. “And [you’re] getting bitten when those ads appear on pages with content that is objectionable to the brand or not in line with the brand guidelines.”

Wakeford said AdSafe rates pages by using third party data, page crawls, and examinations of images and inbound and outbound links. This data is fed into an algorithm that yields an individual rating across multiple categories for each Web page.

“The brand works with us and can select the appropriate rating,” Wakeford said.

After the brand has established its guidelines, AdSafe can then use its Brand Safety Firewall to verify an ad doesn’t run on an objectionable page, Wakeford says.

Inappropriate online content varies by brand – it includes anything from adult content, hate speech or bad language to specific industry concerns. Consumer package goods companies, for example, aren’t allowed to market sugar and caffeine to children under 12, Wakeford explains. AdSafe can help those companies avoid sites where they shouldn’t be advertising. The same is true for the pharmaceutical industry and financial services and entertainment.

The definition of “appropriate online content” is also customizable, according to Wakeford. If a brand doesn’t want ads to appear on a page that mentions a competitor they can also avoid those pages.

Geography is another issue.

“Oftentimes, unbeknownst to advertisers, ads are flowing outside the U.S. or targeted geographies,” Wakeford says. “When you’re a brand advertising a specific product in a specific geographic location, any outside [ads are] completely wasted spend.”

One new partner, AudienceScience, has been working with AdSafe for several months. Frank Gerstenberger, VP of product marketing, praised the human element in AdSafe’s methodology.

“We had a report today that flagged an ad that ran on a shopping site categorized as gun content,” Gerstenberger said. “The ad had run on a page that had some toy guns on the site, so it was perfectly fine. But it was great that the tool flagged it.”

Sometimes, AudienceScience advertisers are already working with an AdSafe competitor like AdXpose or DoubleVerify, and Gerstenberger says if they want to continue to do so, that’s fine, too.

AdSafe also works with GroupM and Rubicon Project.

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