YouTube has become the first digital platform to receive accreditation for content-level brand safety from the Media Rating Council (MRC).
The platform hopes that the designation — meant to affirm that it adequately protects advertisers from appearing in or near content deemed inappropriate — will mark a turnaround, although buy-side pros will, as usual, determine that based on actual performance.
In recent years, several incidents have caused big brands to pull YouTube advertising for a time. Just one example: As recently as February 2019, Nestle and other major companies pulled their ads after a video blogger raised concerns that pedophiles were using YouTube to trade information and spotlight videos of young girls.
“YouTube is the first service we’ve accredited against MRC’s Enhanced Content Level Context and Brand Safety Guidelines. When we issued those guidelines in 2018, we recognized we had set a high bar for brand safety protection, and YouTube has now met that bar thanks to its years of dedication to brand safety and to the MRC audit process,” George W. Ivie, MRC’s executive director, said in the announcement. “This ongoing commitment presents a much-needed path for other digital platforms and the rest of the industry to follow.”
"We received the accreditation following an extensive audit that reviewed the policies that determine which videos can be on YouTube and which are eligible to monetize with advertising, the technology that analyzes the videos uploaded to the platform, and our team of human raters that augment our technology’s automated classifications," said YouTube & Video Global Solutions Vice President Debbie Weinstein.
"We are committed to remaining at least 99% effective at ensuring brand safety of advertising placements on YouTube, in accordance with industry definitions,” she added.
Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc S. Pritchard termed the accreditation a “testament to YouTube’s sustained commitment and investment to enable brands to advertise in safe environments on their platform."
"We hope this experience inspires others to do the same, and that progress continues towards a responsible media supply chain,” he added.