Brand Safety: How it works?

Brand Safety are solutions on programmatic that offer brand protection on online display campaigns. Many companies, like Integral Ad Science, Grapeshot and Google, offer solutions that allow advertisers to avoid content with bad reputation, ad fraud and websites with multiple ads.

What are the reports to look in Brand Safety?


On this dimension you should be able to see the impressions viewed by the users in contrast of the served impressions. This can be used as a KPI for your campaign, where you can try to obtain the best % of viewability. MRC (Media Rating Council) has a viewability standard. When you choose a partner have in consideration if the partner is certified by MRC.

Brand Safety (Harmful Content)

Brands normally don’t like to be associated with illegal content or “toxic content”, as called by Grapeshot. The categories that you can avoid in a campaign are adult content, arms, crime, death or injury, online piracy, hate speech, military conflict, obscenity, illegal drugs, spam or harmful website, terrorism, violence and offensive language. Different partners can use different categories.


By mistake, in many campaigns the geotargeting is not correctly setup. You can use a third party verification partner, like Google (via DCM) or Integral Ad Science to know if your ads are being served and viewed on the desired location. If you have multiple providers running your campaign, you will be able to be sure that the ads are been shown in the right country or region.

Ad Cuttler

Ad Cuttler is a report based on the number of ads a page has. Integral Ad Science, on their page about this report, ask: How useful is an ad if it is surrounded by too many other ads? This technology will measure “the number of ads on the page, the density of ad placements, and the distance between ads to provide comprehensive clutter analysis.”

Can I prevent or only measure?

There are two ways of acting in Brand Safety. The first is going broad and measure to take conclusions and post-bid. This will allow scale but offer less protection. The second option is to use tecnologies like pre-bid that ensure your ads will not be shown on undesired websites. The second option has less reach but offer much more protection to your brand.

How should I implement the ad verification?

If your adserver (like DCM) has already verification and brand safety solutions, you can explore first the potential there. You can also try more solutions from companies dedicated to brand safety, like Integral Ad Science or Grapeshot (if you recommend more partners feel free to tell us in the comments!)

Brand Safety and Ad Verification will allow you to have more insights about your campaign, possible in all formats, screens and channels. This will allow you to have more transparency and to develop actions based on real time results / metrics.