Google is employing the help of comScore to provide more accurate feedback on the brand safety of ad campaigns on YouTube. The announcement was made today by comScore confirming that the company is undertaking the work on behalf of Google. According to the announcement, this is part of Google's wider efforts to ensure "greater visibility" for advertisers on where, and probably more importantly, the context in which, their paid-for ads appear.
Those who follow tech news will already be familiar with comScore, as the measurement and analytics company provides a number of metrics detailing various aspects of the mobile and wider technology markets, and it seems comScore will now be applying the same technology to identify suitability of content next to adverts. In today's announcement, comScore notes that the company will be using a "proprietary brand safety engine" that constantly monitors text content and will be able to essentially cross-reference the content with an ad. In doing so, ensuring that unsuitability between an ad and content does not occur. Speaking of the task at hand, comScore's EVP of Products, Dan Hess, noted that such a task is "a complex challenge" and especially when it comes to YouTube, due to its "vast scale and growth."
This largely seems to stem back to the ongoing news on various advertisers pulling their ads from YouTube. The reason for the advertiser pulling was due to a systemic issue that seemed to display certain adverts next to questionable content, and in some cases, in direct contrast to the very essence of the advert. So while this has proven to be an issue that at a fundamental level affects the worth of an advert (showing up besides contrasting content), it had also raised the issue of moral responsibility – where adverts have shown up next to questionable content that a number of advertisers would prefer not to be associated with. Since the issue first emerged however, Google has made it publicly clear that it is taking the issue seriously and looking at new measures to ensure the problem does not repeat itself in the future. Evidently, one of which is this newly announced initiative with comScore.