Militant Photo via AP
• After marketers discovered that their ads were appearing next to objectionable content last year, a new crop of brands are running into the same problem on Vivendi-owned Dailymotion.
• 25 advertisers were alerted last week by a nonprofit that their ads were seen on an ISIS video showing a graphic execution.
• Advertisers continue to struggle with brand safety concerns that pop up from the complexities of programmatic advertising.
Brands are finding out that YouTube isn’t the only platform where their ads pop up next to Islamic State-related videos—they’re also on smaller outlets like Dailymotion, a video site owned by French media giant Vivendi.
Last week, D.C.-based nonprofit Counter Extremism Project, emailed letters to 25 brands—including Puma, Amtrak, Hugo Boss, Domino’s Pizza and Mazda—alerting them that their ads were running adjacent to an Islamic State-related video on Dailymotion titled “The liquidation of those calling to participate in the Iraqi elections in the Iraqi elections in Tarmiyah north of Baghdad.”
The clip showed a news release from ISIS-linked Amaq News Agency and showed ISIS fighters executing at least one Iraqi prisoner, according to the letter from the Counter Extremism Project. The video was uploaded on April 26 and has since been deleted. Business Insider has not seen the complete video at this time.
“The proliferation of online extremism and its role in inspiring violence is clearly a great business risk for the advertisers that may be inadvertently associated with such content,” read the letter that the Counter Extremism Project sent to Puma North America’s president Bob Philion on May 2.
Here’s a copy of the letter. Puma did not respond to a request for comment.
The letter and the accompanying video spooked a major media-buying firm to block Dailymotion from all future media buys, according to one source. “All the bad, evil terrorist stuff on YouTube has moved there,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I haven’t even emailed out [the video] to the agency.”
According to Dailymotion, the site generates 3.5 billion views and 300 unique viewers a month.
Brand safety issues are an ongoing challenge for the entire digital ad industry
Ironically, Dailymotion is hosting a panel geared at advertising execs at its New York office tonight titled “Ensuring brand safety in the ad tech space.” Mel Bessaha, svp of sales at Dailymotion is scheduled to moderate the session with execs from ad-tech firms Beeswax, Teads and Integral Ad Science.
“We acknowledge that we had this issue [and] the video received less than five ad impressions. It has been reviewed by our teams and marked as inappropriate,” said Bichoï Bastha, chief ad tech officer at Dailymotion. “Brand safety is an industry-wide challenge—everyone is facing it and no one has a clear solution.”
To be clear, advertisers’ concerns about unsavory content is nothing new. Brands have dealt with their ads running against questionable content for years, but with new examples of ads running next to propaganda or extremist videos on Facebook and YouTube over the past year making headlines, marketers are pouring more money a nd resources into brand safety, hiring executives and tech vendors to handle the dicey issue. The case of Dailymotion is the latest example of the complexities involved in programmatic advertising that causes ads to appear alongside controversial content.
The Counter Extremism Project has tracked ISIS-related videos for the past few years and previously exposed similar problems on Facebook and YouTube. In October, the organization began emailing brands about ISIS videos proliferating on Dailymotion and has since emailed 50 brands about ads that have run next to three videos that have since been deleted.
In addition, in March the organization sent a letter to Timberland flagging that pre-roll ads for its shoes were running before a video that detailed how to make the highly explosive material triacetone triperoxide (TATP). The clip was uploaded in 2015 and had amassed 5,000 views.
In January, YouTube tightened its rules on how creators can make money, requiring channels to amass 1,000 followers and 4,000 hours of watch time before they can run ads. Dailymotion does not require such thresholds but said that it doesn’t allow ads to run on videos that use:
• Nudity or sexually suggestive content
• Provocative imagery
• Violence or incitement to violence
• Hate speech
• Physical harm and injuries against individuals
• Terrorism, propaganda and torture
• Promotion or use of drugs
Bastha declined to say how big of a team Dailymotion employs but said, “We have a dedicated, 24/7 team that works on those specific brand safety topics. They are supported by AI and algorithms to ensure brand safety policies and content protection.”
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Source: Business Insider
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Inset Image: AP Photo/File