60% of Content Containing COVID-Related Keywords Is Brand Safe – MarTech Series

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 12:48 am

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New data from GumGums content analysis AI system reveals that keyword-based safety strategies are unduly denying brands access to vast viable ad inventories

GumGum, Inc., an artificial intelligence company specializing in solutions for advertising and media, released data indicating that a majority of online content containing keywords related to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic is actually safe for brand advertising. The findings come from analysis by Verity, the companys machine learning-based content analysis and brand safety engine. Between March 25th and April 6th, Verity identified 2.85 million unique pages containing COVID-related keywords across GumGums publisher network. Of those pages, the systems threat detection models classified 62% as Safe.

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All the concerns raised lately about coronavirus keyword blocking hurting publishers are valid, said GumGum CEO Phil Schraeder. But this data shows that keyword-based brand safety is also failing brands. Its effectively freezing advertisers out of a huge volume of safe trending content, limiting their reach at a time when it should actually be expanding, as more people than ever are consuming online content.

In that one week alone, brands relying on keyword-based systems for brand safety protection missed out on over 1.5 billion impressions across GumGums supply, Mr. Schraeder pointed out, adding that GumGums publisher network offers a representative sample of impressions available across the wider web. Brands would have been blocked from accessing those impressions because the pages on which the impressions appeared contained one or more instance of the words covid, covid19, covid-19, covid 19, coronavirus, corona virus, pandemic, or quarantine.

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Verity deemed them brand safe based on multi-model natural language processing and computer vision analysis, which integrates assessments from eight machine learning models trained to evaluate threat-levels across distinct threat categories. The systems threat sensitivity is adjustable, as is its confidence threshold for validating safety conclusions. The findings released today are based on Veritys nominal safety and confidence settingsconfigured to align with the threat sensitivity of an average Fortune 100 brand.

Even when we apply the most conservative settings, more than half the content is safe, said GumGum CTO, Ken Weiner. Coronavirus is touching every facet of society, so its hardly surprising that even the most innocuous content references it. Keyword blocking just goes way too far, which is why people are calling for whitelisting of specific websites. That mindset shows whats wrong with the way people think about brand safety these days. The idea that you have to choose between reach and safety is false. Our industry needs to wake up to whats technologically available.

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Mr. Weiner noted that GumGums analysis shows that the pages containing COVID-related keywords in certain popular IAB content categories are particularly safe.

Let me put it this way: If youre looking for a quick and easy brand safety solution right now rather than keyword blocking or whitelisting everything Id recommend simply advertising on content categories like technology, pop culture, and video gaming. Youll get plenty of reach and over 80% of their COVID-related content is safe.

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60% of Content Containing COVID-Related Keywords Is Brand Safe - MarTech Series

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April 11th, 2020 at 12:48 am

Posted in Machine Learning