“Down’n Dirty” – Or – Brandsafe?
by Jay Habegger
I recently attended a meeting with a knowledgeable online marketer. During the course of the conversation she made a comment about how the inventory flowing through ad exchanges was “down’n dirty” and perhaps not suitable for brand conscious campaigns.
This is a perspective that I hear frequently. And, there is no denying that the less attractive inventory is in the legacy of ad exchanges, such as RightMedia and AdBrite.
However, times have changed.
The inventory flowing through exchanges and available for real-time-bid (RTB) includes plenty of opportunities from top 100 publishers and, since most RTB inventory is fully transparent, the rest can be classified into “Brandsafe” or not by domain and even specific URL.
OwnerIQ’s MostIQ platform sits on-top of a wide swath of the RTB inventory that’s out there and thus we have a good perspective into what’s actually available for purchase.
About 20% of all the impression opportunities that we see come from top 100 publishers, including About.com, tmz.com and the hufffingtonpost.com.
On top of that, many of the inventory sources have taken steps to ensure that their inventory is Brandsafe. For example, OpenX has a Brandsafe program where they certify sites according to a Brandsafe definition that has more than 25 checks. This allows participants on their exchange (including OwnerIQ) to have access to long-tail Brandsafe sites such as The Columbia Daily Tribune.
To provide our advertising clients the most Brandsafe environment, OwnerIQ also has a program to certify each domain, and even specific URLs, into our Brandsafe list. We use information provided by the exchanges and then run our own validation on each domain. This domain level information (and in some cases url-level information) is then used by our real-time-bid software, along with the other factors, to decision on each impression opportunity and decide if we can use a particular impression opportunity for a given client. We’re adding hundreds of sites per week to our Brandsafe list based on the domains we observe flowing through our inventory partners.
About 65% of the impression opportunities we see are classified as “Brandsafe” per our program.
The result of all of this effort by exchanges and by OwnerIQ is that the ad opportunities flowing through exchanges and RTB are no longer “down’n dirty” in any sense of the word. Brand conscious clients can – and do – run on OwnerIQ’s MostIQ platform successfully without fear of ending up someplace they shouldn’t.