GumGum last week released data based on Verity, the GumGum’s machine learning-based content analysis and brand safety engine. The analysis concluded that 62% of the coronavirus content is still safe for advertising.
According to GumGum’s, brands would have been blocked from accessing those impressions because the pages on which the impressions appeared contained one or more instance of the words “covid”, “covid19”, “covid-19”, “covid 19”, “coronavirus”, “corona virus”, “pandemic”, or “quarantine”.
“All the concerns raised lately about coronavirus keyword blocking hurting publishers are valid,” said GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder. “But this data shows that keyword-based brand safety is also failing brands. It’s effectively freezing advertisers out of a huge volume of safe trending content, limiting their reach at a time when it should actually be expanding as more people than ever are consuming online content.”
GumGum says an alternative to keywords, is to advertise on content categories like technology, pop culture, and video gaming, as advertisers will get plenty of reach and over 80% of their covid-related content is safe.
“Even when we apply the most conservative settings, more than half the content is safe,” said GumGum CTO, Ken Weiner. “Coronavirus is touching every facet of society, so it’s hardly surprising that even the most innocuous content references it. Keyword blocking just goes way too far, which is why people are calling for whitelisting of specific websites. That mindset shows what’s wrong with the way people think about brand safety these days. The idea that you have to choose between reach and safety is false. Our industry needs to wake up to what’s technologically available.”