MRC Releases Supplement to Ad Verification Guidelines To Strengthen Current Brand Safety Practices

George Ivie

George Ivie

New York, NY (September 20, 2018): The Media Rating Council (MRC) today issued the final version of its Supplemental Guidance on Content Level Context and Brand Safety Ad Verification.

The Supplement outlines new requirements for ad verification practices related to brand safety that now include consideration of an ad’s proximity in relation to discrete pieces of content, in addition to the requirements of prior Guidelines, which addressed these issues only at the broader domain, site, or URL levels. In this respect, the Supplement positions the Guidelines to be better equipped to address the more complex brand safety issues that have become prevalent in today’s online environments, including in-application environments, where advertising often exists alongside both curated and User-Generated Content (UGC).

The updates in this Supplement were developed by MRC in collaboration with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and serve to modernize the requirements of the IAB Guidelines for the Conduct of Ad Verification, which were authored by MRC and issued by IAB in 2012.

In parallel with the release of this Supplement, the 4A’s Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB), which was established as part of its Advertising Assurance initiative, has issued its own framework for a brand safety “floor.” This defines a set of categories on which advertisers might choose to adopt a “never appropriate” position for their ad buys. The APB’s floor is incorporated by reference into the MRC’s Supplement and represents one option through which the Supplement’s brand safety requirements can be structured and administered by platforms and ad verification services.

“The release of this new Supplement brings critically needed guidance that’s focused at the content level to help with the brand safety realities of today’s digital ad marketplace,” said George W. Ivie [pictured], MRC’s Executive Director and CEO. “With the ubiquitous presence of UGC on many of the most important digital platforms, and the inherent challenges this presents related to brand safety concerns, the guidance in this Supplement will help advertisers have greater assurances that their ads appear only in those environments they consider appropriate.” More...