Advertisers and Consumers Expand Meaning of Brand Safety

Studies show that trust is paramount for advertisers, and their focus on it is intensifying.  Both advertisers and consumers are increasingly concerned about ads that appear on questionable media outlets, especially big digital platforms, including social media.  Following are key findings:


Advertisers are concerned about where their ads are placed on large digital platforms:

  • Three-quarters of advertisers are concerned with indirectly funding misinformation.
  • Over 80% say that brand values play a prominent role in marketing decisions – 60% are willing to downgrade a media platform based on trust factors.
  • Close to 40% have decreased spending with major platforms, citing concerns about ads adjacent to a harmful environment and brand safety.


Consumers are aware of ads appearing adjacent to unsuitable or unsafe content* on social media:

  • Almost half of consumers have an unfavorable view of brands whose ads appear next to content that does not align with the brand’s image.
  • Nearly two-thirds are unlikely to purchase a product/service advertised on social feeds with unsafe content.
  • More than half of consumers hold social media sites responsible for ads appearing near unsafe content; 36% believe it is the advertiser:

It is becoming increasingly important for brands to focus on media quality, ensuring that their ads are viewed in a safe and suitable environment, to maximize advertising messages.

*Unsafe content:  the file you are trying to open can contain malware or other damaging content for your PC. (

Source:  MediaDailyNews, reported by Joe Mandese and Sarah Bolton;; Advertising Perceptions Study – ¹Amazon, Facebook/Instagram, Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Verizon Media (incl. Yahoo/AOL properties); Integral Ad Science Study – ²Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube