Brands are becoming more cautious with how they advertise online and are considering disassociating themselves with controversial websites that may lead to damage to their brand. Part of these concerns arise as a result of a political environment that has become increasingly divisive. Overall, this is leading brands and digital advertising companies to a flight to quality websites do not have the potential to damage their brands the way other sites might do so.
One of the critical lessons was the abuse that Kellogg received when they tried to withdraw from advertising on Breitbart, a right based conservative news website. Breitbart pushed for a boycott of Kellogg as a result of their ceasing advertising on their site which led to poor news and possibly a reduction of sales.
Most brands will not select the websites that they advertise with directly and use a third party digital advertising company. Brands will either work through an advertising agency or directly with a digital advertising company and will use an insertion order to select the types of digital ads that they want to place as well as the geography and target audience that they want to reach. The digital advertising company will select the websites that offer the impressions that allow them to reach the target market that they have highlighted as desirable.
Digital advertising companies are coming up with solutions for the brands that advertise through them. One digital advertising company, Kargo, focuses on brand safety and is considered to be one of the top ranked digital advertising companies when it comes to the safety of the online publishers that they place their customers’ ads on. Kargo indicated that they typically rejected ninety percent of the publishers that approach them and this push for quality is helping them to protect the interests of their clients.
It is also helping to increase the rates that premium publisher websites are able to charge for their digital ad space. Well known websites like the New York Times and Hearst Properties are able to charge premiums for their digital ad space due to the safety that these more professional sites offer brands, while lesser known publishers, particularly those with controversial content are finding it harder than to obtain advertisers willing to spend significant amounts of money to advertise on their websites.