80% of consumers would abandon brand website over extreme content

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. August 15, 2019

Brand safety is a much bigger risk for brands than previously thought. Eighty percent of consumers said they would abandon shopping websites or brands if they advertised near extreme content.

According to a survey of over 1,000 respondents by the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) and Brand Safety Institute,(BSI), consumers define brand safety much more broadly. It includes ad-related piracy and malware as well as inappropriate adverts (hate speech, pornography etc).

“While reputational harm can be hard to measure, consumers said that they plan to vote with their wallets if brands fail to take the necessary steps to protect their supply chain from risks such as hate speech, malware, and piracy,” explained Mike Zaneis, CEO of TAG and co-founder of BSI.

Seventy-three percent of consumers believe that advertisers should not run ads near hate speech, pornographic content (73%), violent content (70%) or drug-related content (69%).

Over half of respondents would also prefer advertisers to omit ads from running on stolen or pirated movies (53%) or hacked websites (73%).

It’s clear that the ad placements is important to 90% of respondents.

But the responsibility to ensure that ads are placed appropriately lies with the advertisers (70%), ad agencies (68%), website owners (61%) and technology providers (46%).

“We were surprised at the nuanced understanding of brand safety risks shown by respondents in this survey,” added Neal Thurman, co-founder of BSI. “While accidental ad placement around criminal activity has been widely covered in the media, consumers recognised that brand safety concerns extends to a full spectrum of more subjective topics. They also assigned responsibility for brand safety across the supply chain, including not only the advertisers, but also agencies, publishers, and ad tech providers.”