Facebook seen as least brand-safe platform

Linkedin is viewed as the platform that provides brands the most safety, according to a new survey by AI company GumGum.

The company interviewed more than 200 industry professionals in the US, UK and Canada as part of it’s The New Brand Safety Crisis report. Among the respondents, Facebook was viewed by a wide margin as the most unsafe platform for brands (-23), followed by Twitter (-11), publisher sites (-10) and YouTube (-8).

The results suggest that despite its numerous and very public issues with brand safety over the last few years, YouTube is still thought of as relatively safe place for brands. It seems that Facebook’s prominent roles in the ‘fake news’ scandal has done significant damage to the company’s brand.

And the problem is clearly a pronounced one. 75% of respondents reported that their brand (or one they worked with) have had brand safety issues, with 43% saying it had happened more than once. 44% said that they have problems with brand-unsafe imagery, while 32% reported video as the main source or danger.

And while 45% have been employing technological solutions to try and protect themselves from brand safety issues, 15% are not currently using any at all.

“Epidemic levels”

When asked what kind of content they considered to be the most unsafe to their brand, the respondents put hate speech (34%), Pornography (17%), and violence (13%) at the top of the list. The kinds of unsafe content that they had actually encountered, however, tend to be that relating to disasters or tragedies (39%), divisive political issues (39%) and fake news (39%).

The effects of brand content appearing in the wrong place can be significant. 47% of respondents said that they received negative social media blowback, with 25% claiming this lead to actual negative press. Only 13%, however, lost any revenue due to the incident.

“When brands are damaged, we all suffer,” said Phil Schraeder, President and CEO of GumGum.

“With brand safety now reaching epidemic levels, we need a comprehensive understanding of how these issues occur in the first place and impact the brand ecosystem. Based on our findings, we are able to identify ways to limit brand safety exposure, with computer vision as a leading solution.”

When it comes to what potential solutions to the problem might be, 59% of publishers thought that direct relationships are the most effective way to ensure ads are appearing in the right places. Other potential solutions include blacklisting (31%), ads.txt (24%) and keyword detection (22%).

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