Snapchat forms coalition to review brand safety

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 31 May 2017

Snapchat is partnering with analytics and verification firms to review its technology and protocols in dealing with brand safety risks.

Parent company Snap Inc has secured Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and Moat to form a Snapchat Brand Safety Coalition in tackling brand safety issues on the video sharing platform.

These firms already provide independent measurement and verification for Snapchat and will now be tasked with ensuring the platform is a brand safe environment for advertisers.

"IAS commends Snap on taking a proactive approach and partnering with 3rd party measurement companies to protect brand image for their advertisers. Upon review of their unique user design and experience, internal processes, and protocols related to brand safety, IAS is confident that Snap is taking the right steps to mitigate brand risk for their advertisers," said David Hahn, Chief Product Officer, at Integral Ad Science.

Wayne Gattinella, DoubleVerify president and CEO, added: “We are extremely pleased that the results of our first review confirm that Snap's brand safety controls provide a meaningful layer of protection for brand advertisers.”

Moat said it has completed a review of Snap brand safety protocols and confirmed Snapchat is focused on ensuring programmatic and community safeguards in place to minimise risks to advertisers.

"Snapchat continues to push on the issues that matter to marketers, from transparent 3rd party measurement to a focus on business outcomes, and we are pleased to share that Snapchat has focused on ensuring brand safety measures are in place. We look forward to working together on creative solutions around such an important topic as brand safety," Moat CEO and co-founder Jonah Goodhart said.

GroupM global EVP of brand safety John Montgomery added: "As more media buying moves onto dynamic platforms like Snapchat, GroupM will continue to press for innovative approaches to protecting brands, and is encouraged that Moat and Snapchat are making a move to more measurable brand safety."

This year, YouTube has been embroiled in a brand safety scandal after brands discovered their ads were placed against videos featuring far right extremists, terrorist sympathisers and pornographers.

Several large companies stopped advertising on the platform which is estimated to cost it around US$750 million. Google has since tightened its brand safety controls and apologised.

Facebook has also had its brand safety credentials questioned after live executions were broadcast on the social network using the Facebook live feature.

Ads on Snapchat target user interests rather than content, as is the case on other social media.

Snapchat does officially prohibit nudity and violence on the platform but is largely user controlled and there have been cases where post-roll video ads have run after sexually explicit personal videos in Stories.

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