YouTube has had quite a bit of negative press in the past regarding issues related to brand safety. They would regularly display ads on videos that were considered racist, sexist, terrorist related, and much more. This, of course, upset advertisers, many of whom pulled their budget or severely limited it. YouTube has vowed to make efforts to address these issues, and they have recently been recognized for these efforts.
Specifically, they have been granted the JICWEBS certification, which is given for brand safety. JICWEBS is an independent body that reviews and recognizes ad networks and others for their work toward best practices and industry standards related to online advertising.
Ronan Harris is a managing director at Google UK & Ireland, and commented on this saying, “Providing more transparency and visibility to our advertising partners remains important to us, so we are pleased YouTube has achieved certification for brand safety by JICWEBS. We remain committed to listening and working with the industry on cross-industry standards for digital advertising.”
JICWEBS has made it clear that this certification is focused on how well a company is demonstrating transparency and reducing risk overall. It doesn’t act as any guarantee of safety on any particular experience. The Chairman of JICWEBS, Richard Foan, said, “YouTube is increasing transparency around their business practices by sharing this information and having it independently verified.”
While YouTube (and virtually all ad providers) still have more work to do in this area, it is good to see that they are making process, which is being recognized by independent third parties.