Why are our ads appearing on questionable content?

04/16 By Daniela Florio

…So yours don’t have to

You might be wondering why you’ve seen our ads popping up next to some questionable content recently. In fact, we know that you are, because you’ve been asking us about it. (Hi, Thomas!) After all, we offer a premium solution for brand safe media, so what’s our creative doing running next to some decidedly unsafe content? The truth is, while we don’t like to brag, we’ve been taking one for the team.

We make sure that if you’re advertising with certain major display networks, you can be sure that your investment is being protected from appearing on pages that don’t match your customizable campaign parameters. That means no questionable content or impressions that don’t meet additional criteria will creep into your campaign and waste your digital dollars. But, as the day goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. One major display network requires that somebody’s ads fill that placement, even if they’re going to be served to bots or next to dubious content. So IAS has elected to take that risk on ourselves rather than pass it along to our clients.

Ad swapping technology allows us to substitute our creative for yours in risky environments through a process we call “IAS passback.” If the environment is deemed unsuitable, based on the standards you set up, then your ad won’t serve. Instead, we’ll fill the placement with one of our passback ads and spread the word about brand safety. We ensure that your ad finds a more valuable placement, even if it means that our ad ends up somewhere questionable.

Ad swapping allows you to take full advantage of major ad networks for both desktop and mobile campaigns. IAS page-level analysis means that we’ll only swap ads on unsafe pages, maximizing your access to quality placements elsewhere on a given site.

Want to learn more?  Visit our brand safety page.