mFilterIt Blogs

Importance of Brand Safety in Performance Marketing



“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”- Jeff Bezos

With the steady increase in the fake news, extremist content, and ads appearing next to inappropriate content has led to a major brand safety issue. Advertisers today are trying to address the basic question: Are we placing our ads in the brand-safe environment?

No advertiser would want their branded content or commercial offers placed next to nasty or negative news stories or unsavoury websites or apps. With the rise of social media platforms people spot and share campaigns that have gone wrong in no time and are spread among the masses before you get to know it. Brands that advertise on fake or negative content websites are viewed by people as poorly and consumers get the negative opinion of the brand. They believe that since you are supporting them, they will not buy your product or service. In other words, they will hold you accountable for the inappropriate placement of ads. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of advertisers to protect their brand name and reputation from negative or inappropriate content when advertising online.

But many advertisers are aware of Brand Safety in brand campaigns. But ignore the perils of brand safety in Performance campaigns. Performance campaigns basically have a different payout model and the end metric which advertiser optimizes against. But none of these have any relevance for the end customer. And a Brand Unsafe placement has the same problem in Performance marketing as well as Brand Marketing. Let’s look at different issues of Brand Safety in Performance Marketing.

Different types of brand safety issues in Performance Marketing:

  1. Misleading ads placement fraud: Misleading Ads by some fraudsters or fake websites makes end customers feel that the advertiser is misleading them to get traffic (clicks/ leads) etc., thus impacting the brand image of the advertiser.Publishers try popups, spamming a user repeatedly, showing ads which user is forced to click upon, with no option to cancel, etc, all of which generate clicks and maybe some performance, but they impact the brand. They indicate to the end customer as if there is the desperation of the brand, which may not be the right indication to show to customers.
  2. Incentivised Campaigns: Fraudulent Affiliates run non-incent marketing campaigns over incent platforms where the user downloads or uses the app for a certain incentive rather than an actual interest in the app. On the web this can be via incentives for filling up leads etc. Not only do these campaigns bring low-quality users, which results in low engagement, they also again put the brand in an unsafe environment. A brand would not want to show it is ready to get installs/leads by any means to the customer. It impacts the premium-ness of the brand.
  3. Apps placed on third party stores: Many times, publishers extract APK files of Advertisers app and place them on alternate third-party app stores. However, when placed it actually contains potential malware which acts as a trojan horse. Your app carries the malware inside it, and technically all privacy-related/fraud-related aspects from the malware are driven via your app only (since for the customer, the malware is part of your app itself). This again impacts the brand image of the advertiser and can be a PR disaster if this ends up perpetuating financial fraud for example.
  4. Google Search Misleading Ads on Brand Keywords fraud:  Publishers (and especially affiliates) can start bidding for brand keywords of the advertiser, and who misleading ads, which when clicked take the user to the advertiser website itself. These misleading messages can be discounts which are extremely high or talk of false promises. For the user, he searched on Google for a brand keyword and saw the Ad which had the brand Ad-URL, and when he clicked on it, it went to the Brand website only. So, as per the user, this is a safe and a trusted journey. However, the ad placed is by an affiliate and contains false discounts or promises. This can make a customer unhappy since he will not get the same discounts finally.
  5. Coupons and cashback tracking: In this type of fraud,fraudsterscopy coupons and change the product details like name, expiry date etc, and distribute it among the people via email, social media, etc. Fraudsters deceive the user with a false offer or communication by sharing these false promise coupons. The customer is deceived into using that coupon code, and the publisher still gets paid the full amount. The false offers can be brand impacting by promising huge discounts which otherwise are not available.

How mFilterIt helps advertisers with Brand Safety issue:

mFilterIt is the only solution provider that helps its customers ensure brand safety for their performance campaigns

mFilterIt Brand Safety Suite:

  • Brand Safety (Incent Tracker): An automated tracker that tracks 100+ incent / porn etc. apps on a daily basis and ensure that customer app is not present there. If the brand appears on the blacklisted locations, our automated system clicks on the ad to identify the publisher.
  • Non-Play Store Tracker (mAppVault): A tracker which looks at APK files of your app present in alternate app stores and flags off cases where your App has been modified with malicious code
  • Search Keyword Solution: The solution keeps scanning for misleading and unofficial Google / Bing search ads where the brand is being misused to make false promises. The solution ensures that brand unsafe placements are detected and actioned against immediately before it becomes a problem for the brand.
  • Coupon/Referral Tracker: The solution tracks coupon codes for your brand and tracks which publishers are running them at different placements. This provides transparency to the brand and allows the advertiser to easily understand the source of performance for different partners and takedown partners which are running brand unsafe activities.