19 June 2024

Keep your brand safe! A series

Mountains and trees

In summary

  • Brand safety, in a digital marketing context, means ensuring that any digital advertising relating to your business is shown in online environments consistent with your brand’s values
  • There are various strategies you can utilise within DSPs to ensure your ads are placed on websites that resonate with your brand and audience
  • Learn how to utilise blocklists + allowlists, negative keywords, content exclusions and third party verification in DV360 to keep your brand safe

What is brand safety?

In a nutshell, it’s all about protecting your brand’s reputation online. This involves ensuring that any digital advertising relating to your business is not associated or displayed alongside content that is harmful, controversial or inconsistent with your brand’s values.

There are a number of ways brands can safeguards themselves using DSPs, such as DV360, and various third party verification vendors. We provide further details in Louder’s Keep Your Brand Safe! series.

We’ve spent the past year providing tips on how to keep your brand as safe as possible through Display and Video 360 (DV360). And now, we bring you the round up! This is your ultimate guide to programmatic brand safety, so keep reading to learn how and why you should apply these recommendations to your campaigns.

Keep your brand safe!

Below is an overview of all our articles written to date. Each one discusses a different brand safety technique that advertisers can utilise to gain more control over where their ads appear, along with detailed implementation guides and easy to follow steps.

Block or allow particular websites

DV360 allows users to upload blocklists and allowlists via their Apps, URL and Channel exclusions/inclusions feature. Both these lists consist of URLs and apps but what is the difference? A blocklist excludes these sites/apps whereas an allowlist targets them.

Blocklists are ideal for excluding unwanted and malicious sites or apps, allowing your campaign budget to be spent on more relevant and appropriate inventory. We recommended all blocklists be updated on a monthly basis, due to the ever changing online landscape.

On the other hand, allowlists enable brands to curate lists of their most trusted sites or apps and ensure their advertising is only displayed across them. The only limitation here is inventory availability, as they can be highly restrictive due to reduced scale and reach.

Exclude sites based on Google’s predetermined content categories

This article provides detailed information on content exclusions and how to apply them to campaigns in DV360. This can be actioned in two ways:

  1. Digital content labels: Google’s digital classification system based on factors such as type of content, language, context, and potential risk level. Advertisers can choose what labels they prefer their advertising to serve against.

  2. Sensitive categories: Categories based on very sensitive website content. Advertisers can choose to remove entire categories from their advertising altogether.

Avoid content based on keywords

Advertisers are also able to avoid delivering ads to inventory with content that aligns to specific keyword/s. This feature provides a quick and easy way to apply long lists of keywords across multiple insertion orders and line items in DV360. However, the technology relies on an exact match meaning users will need to manually include plural, canonicalised, synonym and misspelled forms of each keyword.

Leverage 3P verification solutions

Finally, there are numerous external vendors who provide tools to ensure high media quality. Providers such as Integral Ad Science (IAS), DoubleVerify, MOAT Oracle and Adloox offer solutions to help enhance brand safety, evaluate inventory quality and prevent ad fraud. Their options can be overlayed with the existing DSP brand safety features and inventory quality technologies, as an additional layer of protection. It is important to note, that additional fees are associated with their usage.

Next steps

Education around brand safety is paramount and it’s really easy to take action within DV360. As a first step, we recommend that all campaigns have some level of brand safety measures applied to ensure high inventory quality.

If you have questions regarding any of these articles or brand safety in general across DV360, the Google stack or other relevant vendors and providers, please get in touch today.

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About Stavroula Papadopoulos

Stavroula is a programmatic and social specialist. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her growing family and exploring the mantra of "you are what you eat".