IAB Europe Brand Safety Report Shows Search Terms Leading To Misinformation

L'Oréal and Samsung are among more than 100 brands whose ads unknowingly appeared alongside climate misinformation videos on YouTube. The findings were released last week in a study just days before IAB Europe on Monday released its own data in a Brand Safety Poll.

The study aggregates feedback from 90 senior European executives on how they dealt with brand safety in 2019, and what the industry must do in 2020 to ensure safety for all.

The results from the findings reveal that brand safety and privacy remain priorities, with 77% of respondents saying brand safety is a key priority and more education is needed.

Advertisers protect against brand safety concerns mostly using blacklists, 93.8%. Some 91% use keyword targeting.

Only 21.6% said ad blocking is more of a challenge than last year, with 55.7% saying it was the same. Just 28.4% said viewability was more of a challenge than last year, with 52.3% saying it was the same. Some 40.9% said transparency was more of a concern than last year, with 48.9% saying it was the same 



Some 57% of respondents agreed that brand safety was more of a challenge in 2019 than in previous years, citing increased understanding and knowledge of brand safety by advertisers.

When asked what sector is responsible for brand safety, 42% said publishers, 28.4% said agencies and nearly 15% said advertisers.

An ongoing need for industry education -- with wider discussions about solutions, differences, options, further education and knowledge exchange -- was cited as an important theme for 2020.

Avaaz, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization promoting global activism on issues such as climate change, released a report that shows for the search term “global warming,” 16% of the top 100 related videos under the up-next feature had disinformation about climate change.

Searched under the keywords “climate change drew searchers to misleading videos 8% of the time and “climate manipulation” 21% of the time, in research conducted between September 18 and September 24, 2019, across Europe. The research was released last week.

Apparently, YouTube’s algorithms are making these decisions to serve ads. The climate misinformation videos Avaaz reviewed had 21.1 million views. Ads from some of the largest household brands were advertising on the content. Brands such as Samsung, L’Oreal, Warner Bros, and Carrefour. Even Greenpeace International, and World Wildlife Fund have ads funning on these videos.

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