While other big media shops have been working with Trust Metrics, Horizon is the first to integrate its website ratings data into its entire digital planning and buying system, says Mary Shirley, vice president-digital media activation at Horizon.
Shirley says the Trust Metrics data goes beyond other so-called "brand safety" filters that Horizon also works with, because they are generally "reactive," flagging inappropriate content on a website only after an advertiser's ads appear there. The value of Trust Metrics, she says, is that it enables Horizon's planners and buyers to predict the relevance and appropriateness of a Web site's content for a brand, even if it's a long-tail site that the agency has never worked with before.
That's because Trust Metrics utilizes a variety of "semantic" filters that were created and are overseen by former editors trained to understand the impact of editorial content on brands.
As technologically automated as that process may be, Shirley said Horizon's planners and buyers will utilize it as part of their tool chest, applying their own perspective and insights about their clients' brands and ad messages to the ratings.
"This will allow agencies to focus on what will be a good thing for brands and brand advertising, vs. what is bad," says Andy Lerner, CEO of Trust Metrics, who says the system has already been tested and vetted by some other major shops, including Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup, Publicis' Hill Holliday, and MDC Partners agency trading desk Varick Media Management.