At its core, brand safety is a set of measures that protects a brand from appearing in unsafe or unsuitable environments. Implementing brand safety strategies is a top priority among advertisers and publishers, but one of the key challenges is that brand safety is not one-size-fits-all. When you think in terms of brand safety versus brand suitability—which uses unique brand profiles, market insights, and strategic positioning to target specific environments for advertising—it’s easy to see how a brand suitable environment for BuzzFeed may not be the same for Clorox.
While brand safety tools and ad verification services have made it easier to protect brands by safeguarding digital ad investments, understanding when to use each is key to making advertising more accountable and effective. Let’s dig into the role of post-bid blocking in today’s evolving digital landscape.
Ad blocking is a broad term that encompasses a number of different advertising tactics, from implementing pre-bid segments on demand-side platforms (DSPs) that prevent advertisers from bidding on invalid traffic (IVT) and brand-unsafe impressions, to post-bid solutions that stop ads from rendering based on real-time brand protection technology. Post-bid blocking refers to real-time decisions that occur after a bid is won. A post-bid block approach is one way to prevent an ad from appearing in an environment the advertiser wants to avoid.
To set up post-bid blocking, an advertiser generally needs to “wrap” their creative tags with blocking wrapper tags. These tags are then uploaded into an advertiser’s ad server or DSP so, instead of loading the creative directly onto a page, the wrapper tag loads first and can run a series of checks to determine whether the creative should be loaded at all.
These checks vary by vendor, but Oracle Advertising protects impressions using four criteria:
An advertiser can choose to block ad environments based on any or all of those criteria. (Eventually, they’ll be able to set separate criteria on an individual campaign or at a line-item level as well.) For example, an airline may want to avoid standard categories deemed unsafe for the brand as well as implement a custom segment that includes pages mentioning the Boeing 737 Max 8 plane. A bank or financial services company may want to block users outside of the geographic areas they serve.
When display ads are blocked, the ad slot may be left empty or replaced with a generic image containing no reference to the brand. For blocked video ads, the video is simply skipped, and the player moves on to the next asset in the queue. The net effect across both formats is the same: your brand is protected from showing up where it shouldn’t.
In today’s nuanced ad marketplace, post-bid blocking isn’t the only brand safety tool to keep in your toolkit. Be sure to read our blog post that covers how advertisers can leverage post- and pre-bid strategies to boost their brand safety tactics.
Or watch our on-demand brand safety and suitability webinar to learn how contextual intelligence can help you unlock new opportunities in digital advertising.
Oracle's Advertising and CX Content Marketing team aligns content strategy, creation, and amplification across global Advertising and CX marketing and collaborators.