A statement from content verification providers on COVID-19 & keyword blocking

Posted on: Friday 17 April 2020 | IAB UK, DoubleVerify, IAS and Oracle Data Cloud

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The current COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented disruption for all businesses and industries, including those engaged in digital advertising. The pandemic has led to heightened advertiser sensitivity towards coronavirus related content and, as a result, some are turning to keyword blocking as a primary way of safeguarding their brand from appearing against pandemic-related stories.

With coronavirus dominating the news agenda and heightened sensitivity of content at this time, brands are understandably making every effort to ensure that their content is viewed in a safe, suitable environment.

We do not advocate a blanket approach or overzealous use of keyword blocking. We recommend a pragmatic approach, with consideration that not all COVID-19 content is damaging to all brands and there continues to be high quality, educational journalism from trusted news sources. This content can provide opportunities for brands to reach their audiences at scale and they can do so safely with the support of our technologies and expertise.  

The ever-evolving nature of this situation calls for precision and tools to enable brands to decide about what is suitable for each of their campaigns. By taking a more multi-faceted and nuanced approach - incorporating semantic and contextual solutions, for example - advertisers can ensure that they’re putting their brand’s safety first, and not blocking content unnecessarily which could hinder the sustainability of our wider industry.

We are wholly committed to delivering the best solutions for our clients, never more so than as we all navigate the current circumstances. Our aim is to ensure that verification tools are used to effectively support your brand at this challenging time, as well as supporting the overall health of the digital advertising industry. We encourage you to get in touch with your verification provider to understand how to best use their technology in these unprecedented times. 

For more information on this subject, see below:

COVID-19 x keyword blocking: 9 tips for advertisers

Content Verification Guide: How to implement a brand safe strategy

DoubleVerify: Supporting News Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

DoubleVerify: Demystifying DV’s Keyword Blocklist Service

DoubleVerify: How Blocking Works

DoubleVerify: Get to Know Your Toolkit

IAS: Keyword blocking and COVID-19

Oracle: The News Industry Needs Advertisers Support Right Now

Oracle: If You’re Using a Blacklist, It’s ‘Dead’ Certain You Blocked This Article

Written by

IAB UK, DoubleVerify, IAS and Oracle Data Cloud

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