Unruly Set To Launch Expanded Real-Time Word-Blocking Product

Unruly is preparing to offer an expanded, automated real-time word-blocking product, part of its brand safety initiative, via a third party it declined to name.

Unruly has been doubling down on brand safety as marketers' concerns in this arena have risen to a crescendo this year. Still it already had a dedicated team focused on these issues.

The company has been doing keyword analysis through Grapeshot’s page scraping and text analysis technology,.

Jessica King joined Unruly three years ago and created its brand safety division, which she now heads. “We recognized even three years ago that this was very important," she said.

"We do more than look at the viewability scores; we try to optimize the data at a domain level and provide real-time optimization to the campaign managers,” she added

Brand safety used to be a “footnote” in a conversation with partners, according to Steven Sottile, Unruly's U.S. president. "it was very rare that a client brought it up.”

And while three years ago, the conversations revolved around viewability and ad serving in unsafe environments, now they’re much more focused on the type of content advertisers will run again. “Our focus, for example, is on keyword block lists,” King said.

Using technology from Grapeshot, Unruly can do keyword analysis through which all the keywords on the page—headline and body of the article—are examined. For example, the  technology can determine what category an article falls into when the word “shoot” appears next to “football.”

Unruly will soon have the ability to block articles about certain topics—for example, weapons. “We’re already doing this with news publishers and others with risky content via keyword blocking. But we’re doing it by relying on publishers,” King said.

Unruly's upcoming partnership will offer a new technology that will enable it to be in control.

Meanwhile, King said she’s added an additional person to her team this year—she has four—and notices that clients are requesting more presentations and dialogue about brand safety. “Clients are moving to their own standards for viewability and to transact around human traffic only. We’ve also had more conversations about TAG certification. [Trustworthy Accountability  Group] and inventory quality guidelines."

Unruly earned its first TAG certification two years ago and uses BPA Worldwide as its audit partner.

Apart from keyword blocking technology, Unruly will look at fraud blocking and non-human traffic. “We’re getting a lot of questions on that,” King said. An audit of its anti-fraud certification was completed last week.

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