DPG Media becomes the first European publisher to rollout GARM Brand Suitability Targeting

Pim van Boekhold07/03/2022

The IAB defines brand safety as “avoiding content that is generally considered to be inappropriate for any advertising, and unfit for publisher monetization regardless of the advertisement or brand”. A hot topic in digital marketing that brands have been investing heavily in over the last years to protect themselves from fraud, hate speech, fake news and misplaced ads. Brand safety is typically managed through the use of inclusion lists & third party ad tech that scans a website for specific keywords & then blocks pages that contain words that brands want to avoid.

But there has been a realization among the industry that this rather binary approach also comes with the risk for brands of steering away from premium news and content, leaving performance and quality reach on the table. Something that became clear when big brands started to block all Covid-19 content when the pandemic started, massively limiting scale on premium news publishers with quality educational and informational content on the subject.

Because of this some of the largest brands in the world have come together to rectify this lose-lose situation, forming a group called the Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM). They have built a framework that allows brands, agencies & publishers to have a more precise conversation around not only what is safe, but what is brand suitable. By taking this more nuanced approach where the unique sensitivities and values of each brand are considered, fewer sites & articles are blocked inadvertently. This means more buying opportunities for advertisers & improved performance. 

With this in mind DPG Media has built a system in house that scans all content published to their websites, it uses advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) to accurately classify each new page according to the GARM framework. Thanks to this development advertisers can target their buys based on their exact tolerances to brand risk. 

DPG Media’s proprietary brand suitability model was successfully piloted in Q4 2021 with a number of agency holding companies & verified against established Ad Verification Vendors for precision. The level of accuracy was on par with third party vendors and even surpassed reach on certain categories by offering a more nuanced analysis of local content, opening buying opportunities on premium content that otherwise would have been missed. 

Next to ensuring the highest quality on their network, the investment in DPG Media’s own tooling is also essential from a technical perspective to ensure brand suitability can be covered across all of their content and environments. This allows for correct classification of in-app inventory and content moving behind paywalls, unlike third party vendors who struggle to do so. Additionally because the content is classified prior to being published advertisers do not have to wait for the third party scanning of content, again boosting the number of brand suitable buying opportunities to choose from, which gives buyers using the technology a competitive edge.

That doesn't mean DPG Media see’s the role of third party ad verification vendors becoming redundant. Pim van Boekhold, Business Development Manager Data & Demand at DPG: “On the contrary, we highly encourage advertisers to use centralized third party measurement on our network to objectively compare brand safety scoring against other supply sources. But we do want to advise advertisers to be careful on pre-bid blocking across premium publishers. Instead consider relying on our GARM brand suitability model for blocking to benefit from a more nuanced way of classification with full reach on all of our content and environments, whilst still using third party vendors for post-bid measurement”

DPG Media’s brand suitability targeting is now available to advertisers & agencies at no additional cost across PMP's, Managed Services or their soon to be released Ad Manager DPG Demand. And to empower other premium publishers in improving the monetization of brand suitable content DPG Media will make their proprietary Brand Suitability model available to their Publishing Partner Network. 

“The launch of our proprietary Brand Suitability model is an important next step in our strategy to establish a trusted, safe and suitable advertising ecosystem for every brand. We are committed to ensuring brands that advertising on our network is always brand safe and suitable without additional costs or tooling expertise needed" says Pim van Boekhold.